Women twice as likely to be injured in motor vehicle crashes: study

October 26, 2011

Charlottesville, VA – Female drivers who wear safety belts are 47 percent more likely than males who wear safety belts to be seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, according to researchers from the University of Virginia.

Researchers found that females suffer a higher risk of leg injuries due to their height, preferred seating posture and other factors that yield less safety protection from standard devices. They also are at a higher risk of sustaining whiplash injuries because of differences in neck measurement, strength and the positioning of head restraints, researchers said.

Researchers concluded that health policies and vehicle regulations must focus on effective safety designs specifically tailored toward the female population under all crash conditions, according to the study abstract.

The study was published online Oct. 20 in the American Journal of Public Health.