Vehicle Choice, Crash Differences Help Explain Greater Injury Risks For Women

Women are much more likely than men to suffer a serious injury when they are involved in a crash, but much of the heightened risk is related to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances of their crashes, rather than physical differences, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

‘Our study shows that today’s crash testing programs have helped women as much as men,’ says Jessica Jermakian, IIHS vice president of vehicle research and one of the study’s authors.

‘That said, we found that women are substantially more likely to suffer leg injuries, which is something that will require more investigation.’

Though men are involved in more fatal crashes than women, on a per-crash basis women are 20-28 percent more likely than men to be killed and 37-73 percent more likely to be seriously injured after adjusting for speed and other factors.

However, when IIHS researchers limited the comparison to similar crashes, they found those discrepancies mostly disappeared and that crashworthiness improvements have benefited men and women more or less equally.

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