Car accident: Women more likely to get stuck than men
A new UK study has found that women are twice as likely to be trapped in a vehicle after a collision than men.
Research published earlier this month in the medical journal BMJ Open has also found that women suffer different types of injuries from car crashes than men.
According to its authors, this is the first large-scale study to compare gender differences in injury patterns and likelihood of being trapped in a vehicle after a collision.
Researchers from Plymouth University Hospital analyzed data from more than 70,000 patients hospitalized following serious car crashes in the UK between January 2012 and December 2019.
Research shows that 16% of women get stuck in cars compared to 9% of men.
“There were significant differences between female and male patients in terms of the frequency with which patients were trapped and the injuries these patients suffered,” the study authors write.
According to research, women are injured more often to the hips and spine in car crashes, while men are injured more often to the head, face, chest and limbs.
This difference is likely due to the fact that car safety is often tested with a dummy representing the average height and body type of men, the researchers say.
The study’s authors note that the experimental mannequins did not explain the difference in hip size between the sexes, which could be why women experience hip-related injuries more on impact.
This could also be linked to why women are more likely to be trapped in a vehicle, the researchers say, because trauma to the pelvis can make it more difficult to get out of a wreck on their own.
“This systemic bias, with vehicles developed, tested, and evaluated primarily for safety using an anatomically correct, weighted, and biomechanically correct male dummy has been lead to the development of safe systems, potentially more effective for men than for women,” the study’s authors wrote.
While other studies have shown that women are more likely to adhere to in-vehicle safety systems, such as seat belts, than men, the researchers say, these safety features are less common. potentially more effective for women.
The study found that differences in the driving styles of men and women could also be a factor in the gender outcomes of car crashes.
According to the study, men are more susceptible to head-on collisions and into the driver’s seat than women, leading to them being more susceptible to injuries from collisions with the steering wheel or the airbag.
However, if women are driving, the difference in their body size compared to men tends to cause them to place their seats closer to the steering wheel, which may contribute to them getting stuck more often. .
The researchers say their findings could help vehicle manufacturers improve car designs and safety features to reduce injury rates in both men and women.
They say the data also reinforces calls to include more “biologically accurate” crash test dummies in simulations of vehicle crashes to better understand the impact on women.
“This sex-disaggregated data can help vehicle manufacturers, road safety organizations and emergency services tailor responses to deliver equitable outcomes by targeting uniformly implement safety measures and reduce undue risk for one sex or gender,” the study’s authors wrote.