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Women drivers are more at risk in a crash than men

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that women are more likely to suffer a severe injury or be killed in a car crash than men. That is not because women are “more delicate” or “worse drivers.” It is to do with the cars each sex typically drives.

The study found men were more likely to be in a crash in the first place. Yet, the study found that when women are in a collision, they are up to 73% more likely to be injured and up to 28% more likely to be killed. The percentage depends on the precise situation.

Why are women more at risk than men in car crashes? 

When researchers simulated accidents using female dummies and male dummies, they found the difference between the sexes diminished. Thus they ruled out bodily differences being a factor. This is what they suggested was behind the figures:

  • Men drive bigger cars: Men are more likely to drive vans and pick up trucks. In a two-vehicle crash, they typically come off better than someone in a smaller vehicle. While there are plenty of women who drive these heavier vehicles, there are far more men.
  • Women get hit more than men: If a car hits you from the side, such as at an intersection crash, you will typically come off worse than the person driving the vehicle that hits you. The same applies to rear-end crashes. The study found that men were more likely to be the ones doing the hitting. Women were more likely the ones getting hit.

However, until there is a solution to cars’ size difference, women will probably still come off worse when a man crashes into them.


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