As experienced personal injury attorneys practicing in New Orleans for many years, we have noted that when it comes to automobile accidents, we tend to see more injured women than men. A recent study has found that this is not just a fluke, but a national trend.
This study is not the first time the different injury rate between men and women has been noted and examined. Previous studies, however, tended to focus on differences in driving techniques to determine whether this would account for the increased risk to women in auto accidents. The current study, conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia and Navarra University in Spain, focused on vehicle design.
After examining ten years of data regarding motor vehicle accidents in the United States, the researchers found that the risk of serious injury to women is greater than men – and for some types of injuries, much greater – because car safety features tend to be designed with men in mind.
The researchers looked at similar accidents involving men and women and the injuries that resulted from the collision. According to the researchers’ article in the American Journal of Public Health, they found that the odds of a woman driver who is wearing a seatbelt suffering a serious injury is 47 percent higher than that of a belted male driver in a comparable automobile accident.
While there may be multiple reasons for this discrepancy, the researchers noted that certain safety features appeared to inadequately protect women. The position of head restraints, for example, tended to favor men, and did not account for gender differences in the size and strength of the neck. Women were also found to be at greater risk of injuries to the legs because of they are shorter than men.
Based on these findings, the researchers are advocating for auto manufacturers to examine how safety features can be enhanced to offer better protection to women.
If you have suffered a serious injury in a car accident, we would be happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.