After years of helping folks injured in car accidents, one thing we’ve come to notice — at least here in our Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Florida area backyard — is women seem to suffer more serious injuries than their male counterparts who are involved in similar types of crash.
The ongoing research out there verifies our observations, but as it turns out the reasons are many.
Data shows anatomy matters
Research from about 10 years ago revealed (not surprising to a couple of personal injury attorneys) women are more likely to be hurt in a crash than men.
Indeed, the study, involving over ten years’ worth of crash data and 45,500 crash victims, showed that seat-belted women were 47% more likely than their male counterparts to suffer severe injury in similar car crashes.
Beyond the obvious height and weight differences, neck strength and musculature played a role as did the fact that cars have long been designed based on a male crash test dummy.
Another study affirmed women suffer more serious injuries than do men. The differences may also be due to something we’re not able to control — our differing bone shape and ligament laxity, among other things.
Car type plays a role
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently examined how the type of car being driven factors in to injury risk. That study showed driving a car, which women tend to do more than men, was riskier, whereas driving a truck, which men tend to do more than women, is less risky.
While we may be injury attorneys helping others by day, our afternoons, evenings and weekends are often spent playing chauffeur to our kids and their friends.
Having seen and handled our fair share of very serious car accident injury cases and as moms who want to protect our families, we wondered what steps we could take to reduce our risk.
What women can do
Beyond working on our neck strength, these studies have convinced us that as we look for our next car, doing your homework should definitely also factor in safety and reliability.
First, we’ll be looking at what’s safe by checking both the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’ crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation ratings and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s vehicle safety ratings.
Also important: Looking for vehicles that have garnered the recommendation of an independent rating organization such as Consumer Reports, which tests and recommends cars on a variety of factors.
Choosing among the newer (2009 or later) and bigger options that fit our budget is also extremely important. The bottom line is that regardless of gender, driving a car with better safety ratings is safer.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s carelessness, regardless of your gender, muscle strength or bone structure, we’d be pleased to talk with you, answer your questions and see how best we can help.
Our consultations are always free, and you only owe us our attorney’s fees and costs, if we win.