According to figures appearing in a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 1995 and 2002, the average American’s risk of dying in an automobile accident fell by 42 percent thanks to increased use of airbags and seat belts. These numbers continue to fall as road travel is made safer for residents of Washington and other states. However, some gender and age populations are still at greater risk than others.
The NHTSA’s study shows that car accidents are more likely to kill young women than young men. The study examined whether and how much age and gender affected accident survival rates. Researchers found that women drivers in their 20s are over 25 percent more likely to die than men of the same age. The study did not examine who was more likely to be in a car accident but rather who would survive an accident of a given force.
It is possible that women’s smaller frames offer less protection from impact injuries. However, men’s advantage does not exist in all age groups. After 35, the male advantage shrinks, and by 70, both men and women have the same risk of fatality. Beyond that, women are actually more likely to survive. Growing older, however, puts both men and women at greater risk of dying in a crash. People in their 70s are up to 5 times more likely to die than a 21-year-old in the same car accident.
No matter your age or gender, however, you are likely to experience some degree of injury if you are involved in a serious car accident. Auto accident injuries are likely to occur to the neck or spine, and some of these injuries can mean a long recovery or even permanent disability. A personal injury lawyer may help you discover whether your car accident injuries are due to negligence and whether you may be eligible to recover damages or health care costs.
Source: USA TODAY, “Young women more likely to die in car crash than young men,” Jennifer Geiger, May 29, 2013