Women are more likely to suffer injuries than men in frontal car crashes, even when both groups wear seat belts, reveals a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.
The difference in risk is greatest for injury to the lower extremities but also occurs with several other types of injury. "This will take substantial effort, and in my view, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not have the resources needed to address this issue," said Forman. Vehicle occupants aged 66 and older continue to be particularly susceptible to thoracic injury, likely resulting from increased fragility of the ribcage with advanced age. The good news is that newer automobiles have tended to exhibit a decreased risk of injury overall. Specifically, 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, researchers said. The risk of sternum fractures and serious rib fractures, however, has not been significantly reduced. The study is an analysis of crash and injury data compiled from the US National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System for the years 1998 to 2015. These data come from a sample of police-reported crashes in the US. "For belted occupants in frontal collisions, substantial reductions in injury risk have been realized in many body regions in recent years," Forman said. "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," he said. This study focused on frontal-impact crashes with belted occupants, aged 13 and older. The data included nearly 23,000 front-end crashes involving more than 31,000 occupants, and a roughly equal number of females and males.