When litigating car accident lawsuits, we have always found that women seem to consistently sustain more serious injuries than males. Predominantly, back and brain injuries. We began to wonder if this was just the experience of Grazian and Volpe or if it was a statistical fact.
We began to do some research and came upon a study done by the University of Virginia in October 2011. Interested readers can access the full report at ajph.aphapublications.org/.
Researchers reviewed information on 45,445 crash victims gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 11 years. Compared with male drivers studied, women were 5 1/2 inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter; fewer were overweight, and more were driving passenger cars at the time of the crash(carpools, ferrying children, and elderly parents and family members). After controlling for these factors and others, the study found that women were 47 percent more likely to suffer severe injuries, most notably brain and spinal injuries.
The study concludes that females are more susceptible to brain injury, neck injury, and spinal injury because of differences in neck strength and musculature. In addition, the positioning of head restraints and seating positions are not configured for the shorter female stature. The study posited that car safety devices have been designed with a male template and car manufacturers may need to consider designing safety features that can accommodate gender differences.
Dipan Bose, lead author of the study cautions female drivers “ensure that their safety systems perform optimally, including maintaining a good belt fit and correct seating posture.”
We have not seen any accommodations made by car manufacturers so it seems incumbent upon female drivers to take it upon themselves to provide a more secure interior driving environment by assuring their necks and backs are secure and well-supported and their seat belts fit firmly.
Remember, it is always better to stay safe and avoid an accident and a lawyer. That isn’t always possible, however, and if you were in an accident, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney to help you with your claim.