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Increased risk of car crash injuries for women

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in California, and women have a higher risk of sustaining injuries in these incidents compared to men. The reasons for this discrepancy are multifaceted and can be attributed to a range of factors, including biological differences, social norms and vehicle design.

Biological differences

One of the primary reasons why women have a higher risk of car crash injuries is because of their biological differences. On average, women tend to be smaller and lighter than men, which can impact the way their bodies respond to the forces in motor vehicle accidents. For instance, women may be more susceptible to whiplash injuries because their necks are typically shorter and weaker than men’s.

Body composition

Women have different fat distribution patterns than men, which can affect their injury risk. Women tend to have more fat around their hips and thighs, while men have more fat around their abdomen. In a car crash, this can impact the way the body absorbs impact forces, with women being more likely to sustain injuries to their core and lower extremities.

Social norms

Women are more likely than men to be seated in the front passenger seat, which is the most dangerous place to be in a car in the event of a collision. This is because the front passenger seat is closer to the point of impact, and there is less distance between the occupant and the dashboard, which can result in more severe injuries.

Smaller vehicles

Women are more likely to be driving smaller cars, which are generally less safe in the event of a crash. This is because smaller cars have less mass and are therefore less able to absorb the collision force.

Women may be more likely to choose smaller cars because they are perceived as being more affordable, fuel-efficient and easier to park. However, the trade-off to having such a car is often safety.

Vehicle design

Finally, vehicle design may also contribute to women’s higher risk of car crash injuries. Historically, car manufacturers have designed vehicles with male crash test dummies in mind, which means that safety features may not be optimized for the female anatomy. Seatbelts may not fit properly over women’s breasts, which can result in chest injuries and internal organ damage in the event of a crash.