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Study: women's risk for car crash injury higher than men's

The journal Traffic Injury Prevention has a study out that shows how women are more likely to be injured than men in front-end crashes, the most common motor vehicle crashes. Specifically, the risk goes up 73% for women. Texas residents should know that the study covered over 22,000 front-end crashes that occurred from 1998 to 2015 and that involved belted drivers.

Researchers divided the cars involved in the accidents between those built before 2009 and those built in or after 2009. Both categories frequently saw injuries to the arms, hands, sternum and ribs. In newer models, there were fewer instances of injuries to the skull, neck, abdomen and lower extremities, including the hips, thighs, knees and ankles.

However, women were twice as likely to incur lower-body injuries as men. These include injuries to the abdomen, legs and spine. One factor in this trend is the lack of safety data focusing on women. Automotive safety tests use crash dummies that are modeled on men, and the female crash dummies are usually smaller versions of these. This ignores women's anatomical and physiological differences.

Volvo is beginning to collect safety data on women and intends to share it with other automakers. Volvo has initiated something called Project E.V.A., or Equal Vehicles for All, of which the sharing of data is one aspect.

If this safety data can help reduce the severity of car crashes, all the better. As for crash victims, they may file a claim in the effort to recover damages. If successful, they might be reimbursed for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. A lot depends, though, on how victims stand up against the opposition of the auto insurance company. With an attorney, they may be able to achieve a fair settlement out of court.

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