Anyone who has ever been involved in a Virginia car accident knows the damage that these accidents can cause. What is less known, however, is that women may be more likely to suffer a serious injury after a Virginia car accident than men.
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Virginia, the odds of serious injury or death for a female car accident victim is 73 percent higher than for males. This phenomenon was first noted in a 2011 University of Virginia study, which found that women were at approximately a 50 percent greater risk than men. However, the new data makes the case that women are at an even greater risk.
The most recent study looked at over 31,000 accident victims between the years of 1998 and 2015. And while the total number of people who were killed or suffered serious injuries has gone down, researchers noted that the gender disparity between injury victims has only widened. Researchers attempted to control for external factors, such as make and model of the vehicle, as well as the height and weight of the driver. After doing so, the conclusion was that women were at a much greater risk of death or injury when involved in a frontal impact accident.
What is especially concerning to researchers is that there is no known reason why this is the case. Most believe that it is due to the differences in the bodies of men and women. For example, women have wider pelvises than men. Additionally, the fat on a woman’s body is typically concentrated around their waist and thighs whereas the fat on men’s body is concentrated around the waist. Researchers also hypothesize that bone-density and hormonal differences could play a role.
Most experts agree that one of the main contributing factors to the gender disparity is the design of crash-test dummies. Historically, crash-test dummies were modeled on male bodies. And while safety testers began using female crash-test dummies in the 2000s, the dummies are just five feet tall and weigh 110 pounds, which fail to accurately predict impacts statistics for a large percentage of the female population.
Researchers note that there is hope, and that more accurate female crash-test dummies are in production. However, the research that goes into making these new models is exhaustive, and can take decades to complete. In fact, the current models are based on data that was collected in the 1970s and 1980s.
Have You Been Injured in a Virginia Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Virginia car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the Virginia personal injury law firm, Robinson Law, PLLC, we proudly represent accident victims in all types of Virginia motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, and scooter accidents. We also handle Virginia slip-and-fall cases as well as other types of personal injury claims. Our team of knowledgeable personal injury lawyers is dedicated, skilled, and ready to meet with you to discuss your situation. To learn more, call (703) 542-4008 to schedule a free consultation today.