New Jersey residents expect their vehicles to keep them safe in the event of a car accident. The newest vehicles are equipped with safety equipment that’s meant to protect drivers and riders. Yet, women are more likely to suffer injuries in accidents. It’s important to understand why this is the case.
What do studies say about women in accidents?
According to a study and report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, women are more likely to suffer injuries in car accidents compared with men. The report states that crash studies conducted with crash test dummies are inaccurate at determining what could happen to female drivers and riders. This is because crash test dummies are designed to be around the size of an average man. Meanwhile, many women are smaller and shorter than the dummies, so there’s a discrepancy in terms of testing out safety pertaining to female drivers and riders.
Why are women more susceptible to injuries?
In addition to the crash test dummy issue, there are other reasons why women are more likely to suffer injuries in car accidents. Women are more likely to buy smaller, compact cars, which do not withstand the effects of accidents as well as larger, bulkier vehicles.
Women are also far more likely to adjust their seats so that they are closer to the steering wheel and dashboard. This increases the risks of injuries affecting the lower torso area and legs. Additionally, according to the IIHS study, women are 73% more likely to suffer injuries in a crash occurring to the front of a vehicle compared with men. This applies to all female drivers and passengers in front seats whether or not they’re wearing their seatbelts.
Another detail explored in the study is automatic emergency braking, which is a safety feature found in many newer vehicles. Larger vehicles such as pickup trucks lack this feature, which means if they are involved in a front-facing crash with a smaller vehicle, the effects can be deadly.
The study emphasizes that the safety features in compact vehicles women are more likely to choose need to be improved.