If you are a woman, you may be 73 percent more likely than a man to be seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. Why would this be? As personal injury lawyers in Vaughan, we have seen the disparities firsthand.
Vaughan Injury Attorneys Have Known This for Awhile
As far back as 2011, a study came out of the University of Virginia that found that between both men and women who wore seatbelts in their car, women were 50 percent more likely to be seriously or fatally injured in the occasion of a car crash.
Now, an updated paper out of the same university says their findings are even higher. They are now saying that women are 73 percent more likely to be seriously injured than their male counterparts. How did they come up with these findings?
Although cars are safer than ever, it is now shown that women are at greater risk than men for similar collisions because automotive safety tests are conducted with crash test dummies that have been modeled over the years after men.
Bio-Mechanical Variations Between Genders
Men and women vary greatly bio-mechanically. They carry different distributions of tissue in different areas of the body than men. These differences between size to fat distribution cause seatbelts to fit differently on a man than they do on a woman. There are other variables that matter as well, such as the way a woman’s skeletal structure works differently than a man’s and their hormonal susceptibility to injuries.
Seatbelts are Less Effective for Women
It seems that these differences can make a huge difference on the effectiveness of the seatbelt from a man to a woman. Auto manufacturers who rely on crash test dummy tests to design their vehicles are missing important safety information that could benefit not just women but everyone.
The most recent study analyzed crashes involving more than 31,000 people between 1998 and 2015. The good news is that drivers and passengers are far less likely to sustain injuries in cars manufactured in 2009 and later than older models.
Still Limited Controls for Variations
But controlling for variables such as model year, age, height, weight, BMI and proximity to the steering wheel, the study showed that females continue to be in a vulnerable position from frontal impact collisions even when they wear a seatbelt. This is why it’s important to have the knowledge and skill of a Vaughan personal injury attorney when negotiating a claim after an accident.
It’s not for lack of female crash dummies. But since the early 2000s, these “female” dummies have simulated very small women, with a height of approximately 5 feet and a weight of 110 pounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average height and weight of a woman is 5 feet 3 inches and 170.5 pounds. The female version of the crash test dummy is extremely limited under the circumstances.
Unfortunately, it takes two to three decades of biomechanical research and testing to build and fine-tune crash test models. Many of the dummy models that are currently manufactured are still using data from the 1970s and 1980s. Consequently, it will take years for auto manufacturers to have current information in order to use it in their design of automobiles.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the Vaughan injury lawyers at RPC Law. We will fight for your rights and take your claim to court if we can’t get fair compensation through settlement.