Does Your Gender Affect Your Risk of Injury in a Car Crash?

Millions Wonfor our clients

Experienced TruckAccident Attorneys

Board CertifiedAttorneys

You OnlyPay us if we win

by Matt Bonanno, Esq.

Are Car Crashes More Dangerous for Women?

Your odds of getting in a car crash are typically one in 366 for every 1,000 miles you drive. However, there are certain things that can increase your risk of injury even more. Learning a little about these injury risk factors can help you make smarter decisions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Study Finds Women Face Higher Injury Risks in Car Accidents

For a long time, there has been debate about how gender affects your car crash outcome. Some people believe that women are more likely to get injured because they are smaller while others think men are more likely to get injured because they drive more dangerously. A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety took a look at how gender affects car accident injury rates. The researchers analyzed thousands of car crashes between 1998 and 2015. They looked at crashes where belted drivers or belted passengers were hit head-on or side-swiped. All of this analysis yielded some interesting results.

First of all, the study confirmed that women are more likely to be injured in a car crash. All other factors being equal, a woman in a car crash is three times as likely to get injured as a man. Furthermore, women are twice as likely to suffer from a severe or fatal injury as a man. The study also found that there were differences in what sorts of injuries people got. Women were 2.5 times as likely to have a lower-body injury or a severe leg injury.

That wasn’t the only surprising car crash statistics the IIHS study found. The researchers also confirmed that the number of men who get injured is still higher overall. This happens because men are more likely to get in a car accident in the first place. Since men are more frequently in accidents, larger numbers of them are injured. Essentially, any given man on the road is more likely to get into a car crash than a woman. However, if both a man and a woman are in a car crash, the woman is more likely to sustain physical injuries.

Women Tend to Drive Smaller, Less Sturdy Cars

The researchers came to a surprising conclusion about why women were injured more often. Initially, they theorized that women were more likely to get injured because they were smaller or less muscular. However, they sorted their data based on people’s heights, weights, and other variants and still found that women faced more injuries. This means that women aren’t usually getting injured because they are physically different than men.

It turns out that women are injured more often than men because of their preferred type of vehicle. People in small cars were more likely to face injuries, and women drive far more small cars than men. Meanwhile, male study subjects were more likely to drive pickups or SUVs that protect them in a crash. Even within the same type of vehicle category, men drove bigger vehicles, and drivers in larger vehicles faced fewer injuries.

Advertisements for smaller vehicles are heavily targeted toward women, so even women who don’t want a “feminine” looking car are more likely to pick a small vehicle. These vehicles might be more maneuverable and use fuel more efficiently, but they face major challenges during a car accident. Small cars are more likely to get shoved around, so occupants face more intense forces. In addition to being slammed around more, small cars also have less structure to protect their inhabitants. People in small cars tend to get hit directly instead of having their vehicle take the force of the blow.

Men Are Often Protected by More Aggressive Driving

Crash data also tells us something about how different genders drive. The study found that men were more likely to be in the vehicle that hit the other vehicle. Meanwhile, women are more likely to be in a car that is hit by another driver. This seems to be due to the fact that male drivers are prone to more aggressive driving styles with extra risk-taking. It may also be linked to the size of the vehicles they drive since large vehicles tend to have more blind spots and less maneuverability.

The fact that men are more likely to be in the car that caused the accident can be both a good and a bad thing for them. The driver that gets hit is more likely to be injured. Therefore, men who cause an accident have a slightly lower risk of serious injury. However, this can also mean more legal trouble for men. Since they’re more likely to be the cause of a car accident, they’re more likely to get sued by a victim who is represented by a trucking accident lawyer. Though they might walk away from a car crash uninjured, they are more likely to end up dealing with financial consequences.

Seat Belts and Other Safety Measures Are Often Designed for Men

In most cases, women’s higher rates of injuries are due to the vehicles they drive, not their physical differences from men. However, there is one exception to this general rule. Studies have found that women are more likely to get whiplash than men in any car accident. Researchers theorize that this is due to the difference in seat belt positioning. Women have different chest shapes and neck ligament structures, so a standard seat belt won’t always work for them.

The reason behind these ineffective seatbelts may be due to gender bias. The majority of car manufacturers do not use female test dummies when designing vehicles. Instead, they tend to just treat women like smaller, shorter men. Failing to take into account women’s different anatomy may make seatbelts a little less effective. Fortunately, some companies are taking steps to fix this problem. Volvo and a few other similar manufacturers are starting to test vehicles with both male and female dummies, so they can find safety restraints that work for everyone.

How to Use This New Information to Protect Yourself

Altogether, the research into gender disparities in car crashes is fairly reassuring. Women aren’t necessarily fated to always face worse injuries in a car accident. Choosing the right type of vehicle can go a long way toward protecting drivers. Ideally, women may want to start looking at larger vehicles like pickups or trucks. They may also want to select brands that use a variety of car crash dummy sizes in their tests. This can help you find a vehicle that is more likely to protect you in a car crash.

If you or a loved one ends up getting injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer. Their professional input can help you decide if you want to proceed with a lawsuit. Depending on the situation, you may be able to get compensation for property damages, medical bills, and other expenses. To learn more about car crash lawsuits, get in touch with RAM Law in New Brunswick. Our New Jersey team of trucking accident lawyers can help you determine if you have a case. Call us at 732-394-1549 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

Reach Out For A


Multiple Offices Across New Jersey

New Brunswick

111 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


21 North Bridge Street
Somerville, NJ 08876


31 W. Main Street 1st Floor
Freehold, NJ 07728

Free Case Review

Free Case Review