According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020 nearly 11,000 women died from motor vehicle crashes, and more than 1 million had serious injuries. There are several reasons for this. The first has to do with how vehicles receive their safety rating. In the tests conducted, crash test dummies are male. Even the “female” dummies the government requires in tests are just smaller versions of the male dummies. As a result, many cars are not specifically designed to keep women safe.
A survey done in 2019 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that men are more aggressive drivers than female drivers, often engaging in speeding, risky passing, and tailgating. Brad Parker says, “Many times you will see younger males, often teenagers, involved in road rage incidents. This may be because of inexperience, and guys are stereotypically hotheads around that age.” Men are also more likely than women to engage in drunk driving, but recent studies indicate that women are rapidly closing the gap. Another perpetuated stereotype suggests that women are bad drivers, but Brad says, “This is just one of many false stereotypes regarding men and women. Women have often been treated or considered second-class citizens. The driving issue is just another way to perpetuate that mentality.”
Another possible reason for the imbalance between male and female injuries sustained in car accidents is that female drivers tend to drive smaller, lighter vehicles, while men gravitate toward bigger cars and trucks. In a study done last year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it was found that 70 percent of female drivers in crashes were in cars rather than larger vehicles, compared with about 60 percent of men, while 20 percent of men were in pickups, compared with less than 5 percent of women. This means that even though more men are injured in car crashes overall, and even though men tend to engage in riskier behavior and drive more miles on average than women do, women are still at higher risk of being hurt in crashes that, statistically, men are likely to escape from unscathed.
The IIHS study also revealed the following:
- Women are 20 to 28 percent more likely than men to be involved in a fatal car crash.
- Women are 37 to 73 percent more likely to be seriously injured.
- They are three times more likely to suffer a concussion or broken bone.
- They are twice as likely to experience serious trauma like traumatic brain injuries and collapsed lungs.
2022 Top Safety Pick Vehicles
Qualifying for a Top Safety Pick award isn’t just about crash tests. In addition to crashworthiness, a vehicle must offer front crash prevention systems that score well in tests of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention.
Honda Civic hatchback, sedan
Mazda 3 hatchback, sedan
Ford Bronco Sport
Hyundai Santa Fe
Large SUVs and Minivans
*Information according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While there are statistics that support the driving differences between genders, we know that getting into a car accident or suffering a serious injury due to the negligence of someone else can happen to anyone—no matter the gender. If you’ve been injured in a serious accident, we would be honored to speak with you further about your case and how we can help you. Give our office a call or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.