A new study from the UK has found that women are almost twice as likely as men to be stuck in a vehicle after an accident.
The study, published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Open, also found that women experience different injuries in car crashes compared to men.
According to its authors, this is the first large-scale study to compare gender differences in injury patterns and the likelihood of being stuck in a vehicle after a collision.
Researchers at Plymouth University Hospitals analyzed data from more than 70,000 patients hospitalized following serious car crashes in the UK between January 2012 and December 2019.
The study found that 16% of women got stuck inside a vehicle, compared to 9% of men.
“There are significant differences between female and male patients in the frequency with which patients are trapped and the injuries sustained by these patients,” the study authors wrote.
According to the study, women suffered more hip and spine injuries when involved in car crashes, while men suffered more head, face, chest injuries. and to members.
The researchers say this difference is likely due to the fact that car safety is usually tested with a dummy representing the average male body size and type.
The study authors note that the test dummies do not take into account the difference in hip size between the sexes, which could explain why women suffer more hip injuries in crashes.
Researchers say it may also be linked to why women are more likely to be trapped in a vehicle, as injuries to the pelvis can make it harder to escape wreckage on your own.
“This systemic bias, with cars developed, tested and safety rated using primarily an anatomically correct, weighted and biomechanically adapted male dummy, has led to the development of safety systems, which are likely to be more effective for men than for women,” the study authors wrote.
While other studies have shown that women are more likely to adhere to vehicle safety systems, such as seat belts, than men, the researchers say these safety features are less likely to be effective for the women.
The study found that the difference in how men and women drive could also be a factor in the gendered outcomes of car crashes.
According to the study, men are more likely to be involved in frontal collisions and in the driver’s seat than women, making them more likely to sustain an injury from hitting the steering wheel or airbag.
However, if women are driving, their difference in build compared to men tends to lead them to position their seat closer to the wheel, which could contribute to getting stuck more often.
The researchers say their findings could help automakers improve car design and safety features to reduce injury rates for both men and women.
They said the data also reinforces calls for the inclusion of more “biologically accurate” crash test dummies in vehicle crash simulations to better understand the impact on women.
“This gender-disaggregated data can help automakers, road safety organizations and emergency services tailor responses with the aim of achieving equitable outcomes by targeting equal performance of safety measures and reducing risk. excessive for one sex or gender,” the study authors wrote.
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