Cars provide freedom and excitement. However, they also increase a driver’s vulnerability to auto accident injuries. Despite these risks, millions of Americans get in their vehicles and drive every day. When it comes to car accident injuries, differences exist in the severity of injuries suffered by women compared with men. While this is discouraging, all drivers may take steps to maximize their safety while out on the road. Despite all these steps, you may still become involved in a car accident. At this point, it’s vital to contact an experienced injury attorney to protect your rights.
Factors Influencing Women Drivers at Higher Risk of Being Seriously Injured From Car Accidents
According to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), women suffer serious injuries more commonly than men in car crashes of similar severity. Women are at increased risk of a fatal injury compared to men despite men engaging in riskier behavior and impairment while driving.
No solitary factor contributed to women drivers being at higher risk of being seriously injured in a car accident. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the type of vehicle and the type of crashes contributed to more severe injury in women compared to men. While new cars are safer than they have ever been, the risk of severe injury and death to women remains higher than for men.
The IIHS study found that 70% of women drove cars rather than larger vehicles. The same study found that 60% of men drove in cars. Additionally, 20% of men drove pickup trucks compared with 5% of women.
Even though men, on average, are involved in more car crashes and drive more than women, women suffer more severe injuries when car accidents occur. On average, the types of cars driven by women are lighter and smaller. Men tended to drive and crash in heavier vehicles, offering more protection in collisions. Therefore, the study determined this may contribute to why women drivers are at high risk of suffering from serious injuries from a car accident.
Type of Crashes
The fact that women generally drive lighter and smaller cars was not the only factor contributing to women drivers being at higher risk of being seriously injured in a car accident. The type of crashes also affected women’s risk.
For example, when comparing front and side crashes occurring between 1998 and 2015, women suffered moderate injuries and severe injuries at three times and two times the rate of men, respectively.
Enhanced safety features and technology in newer vehicles lower the odds of more injuries for both men and women. However, the benefits of a vehicle with a high crash safety rating benefited women for most types of injuries.
What Can I Do to Decrease My Risk of a Car Accident?
Everyone takes a risk when they get into their car and decide to drive somewhere. Car accidents occur every day. In 2019, the IIHS recorded 33,244 fatal car accidents in the United States. However, despite these sobering statistics, all drivers may take steps to prevent the occurrence of a car accident.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Completing regular maintenance checks on your car can protect you from vehicle malfunction. For example, worn tire tread from poorly maintained tires increases the chances of suffering a flat tire. Experiencing a flat tire on a busy highway with multiple vehicles increases your chances of a severe accident.
Obey Traffic Laws
Obey all traffic laws while driving. While you can’t control the conduct of other drivers, your adherence to all traffic rules helps ensure your safety. Car accidents may occur for any number of reasons. However, failing to follow traffic laws by doing this like speeding, running red lights, or failing to maintain a safe distance may increase your chances of a car accident.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from driving. These activities include talking and texting on a cell phone, using the car stereo, talking to people in your car, and myriad other activities that take away your attention from driving. In 2019, distracted driving caused 9% of all car accident deaths.
The percentage of drivers using cell phones while driving increased by 1500% between 2005 and 2019. Sending a text may take your eyes off the road for as long as five seconds. While it doesn’t seem like a long time, when driving a car at 55 mph, five seconds with your eyes off the road is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Check Safety Ratings
When purchasing a new or used car, check the car’s safety ratings and reliability. While newer cars tend to have a higher safety rating, well-maintained used cars may be just as safe. When checking the safety ratings of a vehicle, search the vehicle’s crash test and safety reviews. Additionally, search whether any safety defects or recalls exist on the car.
Crash tests provide valuable data about how much protection a car provides you in a car accident. Safety ratings may include information about how well the car handles slippery roadways, the car’s braking system, and other factors.
Particularly when it comes to used cars, check if any recalls exist on your particular model. Serious recalls may contribute to an accident.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyer
Attorney Seth Gladstein created the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, with the express goal of holding negligent parties accountable while assisting clients in their recovery. With over twenty years of experience in medical malpractice and personal injury law, Seth represents clients on a wide range of cases, including car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dog bites, traumatic brain injuries, and premises liability cases. After a car accident, you may not know where to turn. Between mounting medical bills and recovering from physical injury, anyone would feel overwhelmed. Seth works for clients who can’t fight for themselves. Contact our lawyer Seth Gladstein at the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, today for a consultation.