Women wearing seat belts are significantly more likely to suffer injury than their male counterparts. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics shows that belted female auto occupants have 73 % greater odds of being seriously injured in frontal car crashes compared to belted males. The difference in risk is greatest for injury to the lower extremities, but also occurs with several other types of injury.
The study, published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, is an analysis of crash and injury data compiled from the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System for the years 1998 to 2015, from a sample of police-reported crashes in the U.S. The study also found that vehicle occupants age 66 and older continue to be particularly susceptible to thoracic injury, likely resulting from increased fragility of the ribcage with advanced age.
The study suggests that cars built in the last decade tend to be safer and exhibit a decreased risk of injury overall. Risk has decreased for skull fractures, cervical spine injury, and abdominal injury. Injury risks to the knee-thigh-hip region and the ankle are also significantly reduced. However, the risk of sternum fractures and serious rib fractures has not been significantly reduced.
As a result, continued improvements in vehicle design are necessary to improve safety for belted females, the elderly, and to reduce the risk of sternum and rib fractures. If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an accident involving a defective vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.