Study confirms new car models are safer, but make women more prone to crash injury

Researchers from the University of Virginia’s Centre for Applied Biomechanics stated in its new study that while wearing seatbelts, women were more likely to suffer injury than their male counterparts. Moreover, the study also backed the fact that cars built since the last decade were safer than the previous models.

Judged on the basis of common crashes and frontal car collisions, the researchers claim that 73% of belted women had greater odds of being injured than belted males. The results were stated considering the occupant age, stature, body mass index, vehicle model year and also collision severity. The experts proclaimed that the difference in risk was the highest for injury to the lower extremities.

Furthermore, the study reported that vehicle occupants aged 66 and older were more prone to thoracic injury, especially resulting from increased ribcage fragility. As per the study, newer car models have decreased the risk of injury. The experts mention that there has been a significant decrease in skull fracture, cervical spine, abdominal and knee-thigh-hip and ankle injury.  Additionally, new car models also curbed injuries of serious rib fractures.

For the study, the researchers used results from frontal-impact crashes with belted occupants belonging to age 13 or older. Moreover, the data also studied about 23,000 front-end crashes which involved more than 31,000 occupants with an equal number of females and males. The study however excluded pregnant women past their first trimester.

As reported in a statement by Jason Forman, scientists at the Center for Applied Biomechanics, he said; “For belted occupants in frontal collisions, substantial reductions in injury risk have been realized in many body regions in recent years. These results provide insight into where advances in the field have made gains in occupant protection, and what injury types and risk factors remain to be addressed.”

The research study was published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention and mainly focuses on crash and injury data for the year 1998-2015. The data was acquired from sample of police-reported crashes in the US.