With road accidents being one of the top ten causes of death, according to the World Health Organization, many studies have been conducted to figure out as much information as possible when it comes to car accidents. One of the most shocking findings was that women are more susceptible to injuries due to a car accident in comparison to men. This is due to a number of factors, and we’ll take a look at them in this article.
Seat belt measurements
While seat belts are supposed to keep passengers safe with minimal damages in car accidents, studies have shown that women are more prone to serious car injuries in comparison to men due to the measurements and seat belt placement in cars that are better suited for a male passenger.
According to the study published in Traffic Injury Prevention, women are 73 per cent more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash than men with both parties not only seated in the front seat, but also wearing seat belts. Based on the clients hiring personal injury lawyers on https://www.myinjuryattorney.com/new-jersey/car-accident-lawyers/, the percentage of women being the victim of a serious personal injury due to a motor vehicle accident are much higher than that of men. It is also evident that women are not only more susceptible to lower-body injuries involving the legs, abdomen, and spine, but tend to suffer from them twice as much as men.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia found that women, on average, were 5.5 inches shorter, around 35 pounds lighter, and many of them were riding in passenger seats. Changing these variables with the size of men concluded that women have a 47 per cent higher risk of suffering severe injuries in a car crash than their male counterparts, and they are 17 per cent more likely to die as a result of these injuries. This is because most cars have been designed with males in mind, causing the differences in neck strength and the positioning of the head restraints to become an obstacle when it comes to women’s safety.
As mentioned above, with the design and manufacturing of the car mainly taking the male size, measurements, and habits into consideration, the way a woman is seated is another factor indicating the reason behind the susceptibility of women getting severely injured in car crashes. That is because women tend to pull the seat forward and are usually positioned a lot closer to the steering wheel to be able to reach the pedals, as the average height of women tends to be shorter than that of men.
Another comparison between males and females when it comes to seating positions is that women need to be seated upright in order to be able to see clearly. However, the standard seating position does not take into consideration that the dashboard is placed too high for women, requiring them to sit upright in order to have their eyes clearly on the road, leaving them to be out of position and in more danger of being injured during a car accident. When it comes to injuries, being out of the standard seating positions puts women at the risk of internal injury during front-end accidents due to the angle of their knees and hips, which leaves their legs unprotected.
When it comes to rear-end collisions, the situation doesn’t get any better for women. Due to the structure of their bodies and having less muscle on their necks and upper torso, it is far more common for a woman to suffer from whiplash during an accident than a man. It is also worth mentioning that, having cars designed for men has also increased the risk of this injury for women by up to three times. Seats that are too firm tend to be one of the reasons that women are thrown forward faster than men as the back seat doesn’t provide the necessary support for the average size of women.
Car crash dummies are mostly male
One of the main reasons that car safety testing rarely tends to show these results is because most of the car crash dummies used by car manufacturers take only the average male size into consideration. One of the most common dummies used is 177 cm tall and weighs 76 kg, which, in comparison to women, is not only considerably taller but also heavier than the average-sized woman.
While the crash-test dummies were first used in the 1950s, the size was solely based on an average male up until 2011. However, even when a female dummy size was created, the dummy used was just a smaller version of the original male one. This dummy did not take into consideration the different body structure of a woman, how her smaller size affected her sitting position, or even how the seat belt rested on her chest. Having a smaller sized dummy also does not represent the changes when it comes to anatomy as well as the physiological differences between males and females, such as muscle strength, fat distribution, or even something as simple as the shape of the pelvis.
Lack of female data
While the newer car models created after 2009 have lowered their numbers when it comes to car crashes due to the extra safety precautions taken into consideration, there is still a gap that needs to be filled based on the habits as well as the size and body structure of women.
It is also evident that due to the lack of females included in data analysis and regularity tests, there is little or no information collected to help design cars keeping in mind the necessary information to protect women from severe car injuries. To make matters worse, pregnant women are at an even greater risk, due to the significant changes that occur in the body during pregnancy.
Living in a patriarchal world has led women to be in grave danger when it comes to car accidents, with entire designs, safety precautions, and even testing being catered only to the average-sized male. With road accidents being such a common thing, it is high time that the safety of women was taken into consideration.