THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Female drivers are more
likely than males to be injured in motor vehicle crashes, possibly
because of a lack of vehicle safety features tailored to women, a
new report suggests.
For the study, the researchers examined crash data from across
the United States between 1998 and 2008 in order to determine
whether driver gender influenced injury risk. Forty-three percent
of the drivers were female, and the overall average age of all the
drivers was 36. Eleven percent of drivers were older than 60.
Passenger cars were involved in 67 percent of the crashes,
followed by SUVs (15 percent), light trucks (11 percent) and vans
(6 percent), according to the report released online Oct. 20 and
slated for publication in the December print issue of the
American Journal of Public Health.
The investigators found that female drivers wearing seatbelts
were more likely to be injured than male drivers wearing seatbelts,
and that belted female drivers suffered more chest and spine
injuries than belted male drivers in comparable crashes.
The researchers noted "a higher risk of lower extreme injuries
reported for female drivers as a result of their relatively short
stature, preferred seating posture and a combination of these
factors yielding lower safety protection from the standard
Based on these results, the study authors concluded that "female
motor vehicle drivers today may not be as safe as their male
counterparts; therefore, the relative higher vulnerability of
female drivers when exposed to moderate and serious crashes must be
taken into account," they wrote in a news release from the American
Public Health Association.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlines
buy a safer car.