THE UNITED STATES – An online story reports that researchers have recognized that women are more prone to serious injuries in a motor vehicle crash than men. New research now suggests that most of the increased risk of serious injury is linked to the types of motor vehicles that women drive as well as the circumstances of their accidents rather than physical dissimilarities between women and men. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found accident testing programs have benefited women as much as these tests have benefited men.

According to the IIHS, their research study discovered that women are considerably more prone to suffer leg injuries in a motor vehicle accident than men. Their data also revealed that men are involved in more fatal accidents than women. After adjusting for speed and other accident factors, women are 20 to 28 percent more prone to die in an accident and 37 to 73 percent more inclined to be severely injured than men. When the IIHS researchers narrowed the comparison to comparable collisions, the differences between men and women generally disappeared. This showed that crashworthiness advances in motor vehicles had benefited both men and women equally.

Statistics also show that women are more likely to purchase smaller, lighter automobiles, and women are more inclined to be involved in front-into-rear and side-impact collisions. The IIHS study suggests that the disparity between injury risk for women and men has motivated crash test researchers to create new crash test dummies more closely to resemble how female bodies react to the accident forces.

In front accidents, the IIHS study showed that women are three times as likely to endure moderate accident injuries such as a concussion or bone fractures and twice as likely to sustain serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury or a collapsed lung. In a side collision, moderate injury probabilities were about the same for both sexes, with women about 50 percent more prone to be severely injured. The IIHS states that one reason for the previous injury rates in women is vehicle choice.

About 70 percent of women were involved in accidents in small cars compared with approximately 60 percent of men. Over 20 percent of men were involved in accidents in pickup trucks as compared to about five percent of women. According to the study, men tend to be involved in accidents while driving heavier vehicles, which provide more protection in accidents.

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