It’s long been recognized that women have a greater chance of being injured in vehicle crashes than men. One of the reasons for this historically has been the lack of “female” crash test dummies. While they’re used more than they used to be, most crash test dummies are the size of a 5-feet 9-inch person weighing roughly 170 pounds, which is more likely to be representative of a man.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a female in the front seat, either as a driver or passenger, is 17% more likely to be killed in a crash than a male. A recent report from the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes some other reasons why women are more likely to be injured in a crash than men.
Men tend to drive heavier vehicles
While there are millions of SUV-driving women, they’re more likely to drive lighter-weight vehicles than men. Men are primarily the ones who drive pick-up trucks, which tend to fare better in crashes than cars. In some 20% of crashes involving men, they were driving pick-up trucks. (Just 5% of women were.)
Men are more likely to cause front-to-back crashes
The drivers who cause these crashes, as well as front-to-side crashes, are less likely to suffer injuries than the driver who’s in the car that is struck. That means that men are statistically less likely to be injured.
Many front-to-back crashes can be prevented with safety features like automatic emergency braking (AEB), which automatically slows the vehicle if it senses it’s getting too close to the one in front of it. However, going back to the previous point about pick-up trucks, they’re less likely than many other vehicles to have this and other advanced safety technology.
As the director of operations at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center says, “AEB is the type of feature you want not only on your own car but on everyone’s car around you.” She also notes that all of this data about gender differences in crashes “highlights the need for crash tests to represent those that are being injured or killed most often.”
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent or reckless driver, it’s crucial not to settle for less than you need to cover short-term and long-term expenses and damages. That’s where having experienced legal guidance can make a difference.