Neil T. O’Donnell

New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety demonstrates that women are three times more likely to sustain injuries such as broken bones or concussions in frontal crashes. In side crashes, women were twice as likely to sustain severe injuries such as collapsed lungs or traumatic brain injuries.

There are several explanations offered for these findings. “The numbers indicate that women more often drive small, lighter cars and that they are more likely than men to be driving the struck vehicle in the side impact and front into rear crashes,” offered Jessica Jermakian of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

These type of injury statistics, demonstrating disparate results between men and women, have led to new crash test dummies being used to more reflect women’s dimensions. These studies are consistent with previous analysis. The Federal Fatal Analysis Reporting System shows that men are more likely to be the striking vehicle in rear end and side impact collisions. Statistically, the striking vehicle is at lower risk of injury in such crashes.

Some positive developments are seen through the use of seatbelts and air bags. But these sex-based disparities continue.

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