A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that women are more likely to become seriously injured or killed in car crashes in West Virginia. More men suffer injuries in crashes than women, but the difference in severity appears to be due to the discrepancies in the vehicles they drive and not in physiological differences.
Vehicle size and type play a big role
The IIHS study found that about 70% of women involved in motor vehicle accidents rode in smaller cars as opposed to larger vehicles. That rate dropped to 60% for men. The study found that women were three times as likely to suffer a moderate injury and twice as likely to suffer a severe injury as men. However, when the researchers evaluated crashes with similar circumstances and vehicles, the discrepancy diminished significantly. Even in similar crashes, women were about 2.5 times than men to have moderate leg injuries, and 70% more likely to have serious leg injuries. The IIHS says that vehicle manufacturers could close that gap with safety improvements.
Behavior makes a difference
Men tend to drive larger vehicles like pickup trucks, which give them more protection. They also tend to the driver that strike another vehicle in a mishap, which also means that they are less likely to suffer severe injuries. Careful vehicle selection can mitigate your risk of severe injury in a crash. Women who select larger vehicles to drive with better safety features may end up with a lower risk of severe head and lower body injuries.
Victims are still entitled to compensation
Just because you are a women who may have driven a smaller vehicle that didn’t protect you adequately in a crash doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t receive compensation for your injuries if the other driver is at fault. The at-fault driver’s insurance company and others will try to prove that you somehow caused your injuries.
The size of your vehicle should not be a factor in which driver was at fault. Thorough fact gathering should develop a sound burden of proof.