Study shows women more vulnerable than men in front-end crashes

A study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention has found that women run a higher risk than men for serious injuries in a car crash. West Virginia residents should know that women are especially prone to suffer injuries to the spine, abdomen and legs. In fact, their risk for these lower-body injuries is double that for men.

The study looked at 22,854 front-end crashes that occurred between 1998 and 2015. Of the 31,254 car occupants who were involved in these, 50.6% were women. The median age was 32. Researchers only analyzed occupants who wore a three-point seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Dividing the cars between those built before 2009 and those built after, researchers found that the risk for arm and hand injuries was roughly the same in both categories. In addition to arm and hand injuries, injuries to the ribs and sternum were the most common across both categories. Newer models reduced the chances of skull, neck and abdomen injuries.

There is still the question of why women are more vulnerable. Other research shows that there is a lack of safety data specifically on women. Crash dummies are modeled on men, and women's crash dummies are usually smaller versions of these. There is no accounting, then, for women's anatomical and physiological differences.

Front-end collisions are almost always the result of negligent driving on the part of one or the other driver. Victims who wish to file a personal injury lawsuit should know that they might be eligible for compensation if they are deemed less than 50% at fault. Still, they will have to contend with the auto insurance company's legal team, so they may want a lawyer of their own. The lawyer might hire third-party investigators to gather proof against the defendant.

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