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Are Women More Prone to Car Accident Injuries?

A 2011 study found that regardless of car model year, passenger/driver age, height, weight, BMI, and posture, women continue to receive more injuries when involved in frontal impact collisions, even when they wear a seatbelt. 

Body Composition Comparison

Female and male bodies react differently to injuries due to their body compositions. More specifically, women have smaller neck muscles, which makes them more susceptible to injuries such as whiplash. Furthermore, estrogen levels affect the rigidity of muscles. This impacts car accident injuries as rigid muscles are more susceptible to injury than relaxed muscles. 

Additionally, women generally have smaller statures than men, with an average height difference of 5.5 inches, and an average weight difference of 35lbs. As a result, women are twice as likely to develop leg, spine, and abdominal injuries when in an auto accident compared to men. When exposed to similar crashing forces, women between the ages of 20-35 have a higher chance of dying than males, due to their smaller stature.

How Safety Features Impact Injuries 

Safety features in modern vehicles are designed for men. Statistically, men have greater exposure to traffic as they drive more miles. This, in turn, puts men at greater risk for auto accidents. Accordingly, crash dummies are developed after a male physique weighing 163 pounds. As a result, female drivers suffer more chest and spinal injuries when seatbelted in comparison to men. 

Differences in Women’s Bodies That Make Them more Susceptible to Injury: 

  • Higher Estrogen Levels
  • Less Muscle Mass
  • Greater Flexibility 
  • Wider Pelvis (altering knee and ankle alignment)
  • A Narrower Space Within the Knee for the ACL to Travel Through
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Fat Distribution

Other factors that contribute to injuries include the position of the headrest, driving posture, and the position of the driver’s seat. Combining all these factors, women are 73% more likely to be injured in a car accident and are 47% more likely to suffer severe injuries.

Conditions/Injuries

  • Women drivers are at a higher risk for sustaining whiplash injuries. Females have a higher tendency to have their seats further upright and adjusted closer to the steering wheel. This position affects the intensity and severity of impact with the headrest, aggravating whiplash conditions. 
  • Women are 3 times more likely to have migraines than men. For women, their menstrual cycles can affect the frequency and duration of this condition. Birth control pills and hormonal replacement therapy may decrease the frequency and severity of migraines in some women. 
  • Women are more at risk for frozen shoulder than men. The risk of developing this condition may also increase if you are recovering from a stroke or a mastectomy (surgical breast removal). 
  • Facial neuralgia affects women more than men. Additionally, facial neuralgia is more likely to occur in those over the age of 50. 
  • Women are two to four times more likely to tear their ACL than men. 

Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to connect with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!

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