Text size


Women are at greater risk in car accidents, says research

Women are at greater risk in car accidents, says research


Some studies found that female occupants can be more likely to have serious injuries in the event of a collision

Women are at a far greater risk of injury and death in car accidents, according to new research.

In fact, some studies have discovered that female vehicle occupants are almost twice as likely to be seriously injured in certain collisions.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biosciences in the US estimates that women wearing a seatbelt are 73 per cent more likely to be seriously injured in a head-on crash when compared to a male occupant.

Conducted by Auto Express, the investigation found that though American-market cars are often believed to offer less head-on protection than European models, Swedish researchers have discovered that female occupants are thrown further in rear-end collisions, causing a higher rate of whiplash injuries.

The motoring publication also stated that up until 2015, all crash test dummies were, up until 2015, based on a ‘50th percentile male’; no relevance was made to the female propulsion in the event of an accident until five years ago when a ‘fifth percentile female’ dummy was created.

However, Richard Schram, Euro NCAP’s technical director, told Auto Express:

“The 50th percentile dummy is nowadays more average, at least in the Netherlands, of a Dutch female in terms of size and weight. And the underlying structure of the dummy isn’t biased towards male or female, because there simply wasn’t any knowledge of this when they were developing the dummy. It’s called a male dummy, but I don’t think we should call it simply that.

He added: “The publications that show females are 73 per cent or 78 per cent higher risk are in comparisons between low risk, and low, low risk. A 78 per cent increase varies between 3 to 5 per cent overall risk, which is significant if you compare the two together, but on the whole scale of being injured it’s still a very low value.”