There has long been a debate regarding which gender drives the safest. Different studies claim different answers to that question. However, regardless of that answer, it seems that there is a difference in which gender is safer in the event of a car crash.
There is a higher rate of serious car crash injuries among women
The University of Virginia originally released the findings of this study in 2011, stating that women were 50% more likely than men to suffer a severe or fatal injury in a car crash. However, they published a new study in July, and that rate jumped up to 73% in less than a decade.
Even though the study found this shocking evidence, they have yet to determine why women face a much higher risk of injury than men. According to CityLab, there are a few variables that influenced the number of injuries, including:
- The year the car was made
- The individual's height, weight and age
Women might also be more susceptible to severe injuries because of biology. For example, the physical differences that men and women have in bone structure and tissue could be a factor in how seat belts protect them differently.
And many car manufacturers model their crash test dummies off of men. So, CityLab reported that the lack of female crash test dummies could also be a contributing element.
Various factors contribute to the higher risk. But is there a way that women can mitigate that risk?
How can women stay safe on the road?
Individuals injured in a car accident because of another's negligence can seek compensation for their injuries (Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §11-108). However, there are steps that women in Maryland can take to improve their safety to avoid a crash in the first place.
While there are no driving tips specific to each gender, it is helpful to:
- Check your seat belt: The study determined that front-end crashes were the most dangerous for women, even if they wore a seat belt. Both drivers and passengers should adjust the seat belt to secure themselves in the vehicle.
- Avoid all distractions: Distractions can increase both the likelihood of a crash and the severity of one.
- Watch other drivers: Individuals must focus on their own driving, but they must also stay aware of other driver's actions. Driving defensively can make all the difference on Maryland roads.
Auto manufacturers are evaluating how to increase safety measures for women, thanks to the study's findings. But those changes will take some time. In the meantime, if women are aware of the higher risk they face, then they can take action to reduce it.