A new report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that women drivers are more likely to die in crashes because the male drivers who hit them are more likely to be driving larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs. According to a news report, because 40% of men involved in crashes were driving taller, heavier vehicles whose designs prioritize occupant survival above all else, they had a higher survival rate than women, 70% of whom were behind the wheel of smaller vehicles at the time of impact.
The report says that aggressive driving plays a role too. Researchers found that women drivers were more likely to be struck by another driver from the side or front of the vehicle while male drivers were more likely to cause the crashes in which they were involved.
Larger Vehicles and Car Accidents
This lines up with a recent survey from AAA, which found that men are more likely to self-report dangerous driving behaviors linked to car accidents such as tailgating, speeding, and running red lights. IIHS researchers also found that women were 70% more likely than men to suffer serious leg injuries in the event of a crash, possibly because they are in vehicles whose design fails to consider the typical female body.
Authors of the study say that when it comes to each gender’s likelihood of surviving a car accident, the choice of the vehicle really matters. Experts are also quick to point out that just beefing up small cars is not going to save drivers. Crash testing programs in the United States have routinely failed others on the roadway such as pedestrians, bicyclists and those using wheelchairs because, unlike other countries, the United States only tests for the safety of vehicle occupants.
This is becoming an issue as larger vehicles are increasingly populating roadways. In 2019, 72% of U.S. vehicle sales consisted of pickup trucks, large vans and SUVs. Experts say that number will increase to 78% if new car assessment programs are not changed to acknowledge the inherent dangers of large vehicles, which are dangerous not just to drivers of smaller cars but also to other road users like pedestrians and bicyclists.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California car accident attorney will be able to help ensure that victims’ rights are protected every step of the way and that they receive maximum compensation for their losses.