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Cars Still Have Problems Protecting Women in Collisions

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car crash accident collision
Photo: Junior Libby

When you get into your car and put on your seatbelt, you trust your car to protect you if the worst should happen – a collision. We all do so much research on a car’s safety scores and technology before we buy because no one wants to end up a story on the evening news. While car crashes are dangerous for everyone, research shows that they are especially risky for women, and it’s probably because of modern vehicle design.

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According to a University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics study, women wearing seatbelts are 73 percent more likely to get hurt in a frontal crash compared to males. When they were hurt in a collision, women were also more likely to have damage to the lower extremities than men.

It’s not all bad news, though. The same study reported that, in general, newer cars did a better job keeping occupants safe, which means that the auto industry is improving its designs. This is especially true when it comes to reducing injuries in the knees, hips, skull, spine, and abdomen.

The press release from researchers says the study used data from about 23,000 front-end crashes and more than 31,000 passengers. Before arriving at the shocking statistic they took into account occupant ages, body mass index, car details, and how bad each crash was. They also took out statistics related to crashes where pregnant women beyond the first trimester were involved, since their bodies are naturally more prone to injury. About half of the drivers in the studied accidents were male, and the other half were female.

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We’ll see if a newsworthy statistic is enough to make manufacturers think long and hard about why their cars fail so many female drivers. Future drivers will thank them.

News Source: University of Virginia