Car crashes are a leading cause of injury and death in Virginia. Though nobody is immune to the effects of a car accident, some people may be more vulnerable than others.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association, a regulatory body focused on driving safety, performs safety tests on multiple vehicles each year. It measures the safety performance of various cars in crash situations. However, few of the NHTSA’s crash tests focus on the bodies of women. Instead, their tests concentrate almost entirely on crash test dummies modeled on male bodies.
Male-oriented crash testing
When testing vehicles’ safety features, the NHTSA uses crash test dummies with average male proportions. This may not seem important at first. Unfortunately, it is.
A car’s safety features are finely tuned based on crash test results, which means that changing one variable in the body size of a driver or passenger can change the effectiveness of those safety features. Something as simple as the angle at which an airbag hits a driver can make the difference between life and death.
Differences in the male body
Though more men die in motor vehicle accidents each year than women, this is related to the types of crashes men are in. Car crashes with male drivers tend to be more severe than those with female drivers. They often occur at higher speeds and include other driver-related complications.
On the other hand, if a man and a woman experience similarly severe crashes, the woman is more likely to experience injury or death. Men tend to be taller than women, but that’s not where the differences end. Men’s musculature and bone structure are also quite different.
Regardless of your gender, car crashes can cause severe injuries. If you’ve sustained motor vehicle injuries, you might benefit from consulting a lawyer with experience in personal injury lawsuits.