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Study weighs injury risk for women drivers despite seat belt use

In Oklahoma, people are increasingly avoiding serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents (MVA). Despite the benefit of safety advancements with innovations like automatic braking and lane departure warning, the most basic step for safety is to wear a seat belt. However, even people who buckle up might be injured and lose their lives in a crash. One recent study says that women are more prone to injury when wearing a seat belt than men.

Physical factors may account for disparity in male and female seat belt safety

The study presented surprising conclusions regarding seat belt safety for men and women. Researchers found that women are 73% more vulnerable than men to suffer a serious injury if they are in a front-end accident while wearing a seat belt. Variables were considered including how severe the accident was, the ages of those involved, passenger size and the vehicle itself. People 66 and older were at greater risk of injury to the chest area.

On a positive note, injury risk in general is lower due to new vehicle design. The study used data from accidents that were reported to police from 1998 through 2015. It assessed front-end collisions involving passengers age 13 and older. The occupants were wearing their seat belts. An estimated 31,000 people were involved in approximately 23,000 collisions. The total of males and females was around equal and excluded pregnant women.

Myriad factors influence the aftermath of an auto accident

People who wisely buckle their seat belt when they get into a motor vehicle might be surprised to learn that certain injuries may come about because of its use. Buckling up has also been the catalyst for improvements in overall safety with fewer injuries to the skull, abdomen and spine. This study is an example of why it is difficult to accurately analyze injuries suffered in an MVA. Since an auto accident can result in catastrophic injuries, a long hospitalization, lost income and massive medical costs, it is wise to understand the importance of professional advice in filing a claim for compensation.


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