Age and gender affect severity of car accident injuries
Researchers have stated that understanding the differences among drivers of different genders and different ages is key to preventing serious car accident injuries and the amount of compensation claims that have to be made as a result.
While it is widely considered that age and gender have an effect on the likelihood of an accident occurring, that is male drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents than female drivers, there is still little known about the influence of age and gender on the personal injuries that car accident victims suffer.
With this in mind, the study was carried out by professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, Fred Mannering, along with Purdue doctoral student Samantha Islam, and findings were published in the Journal of Safety Research in 2006.
Findings revealed that there were certain circumstances that made fatality more likely but when considering car accident injuries:
Failing to wear seatbelts increased the likelihood of personal injury by 119% for young women, 164% for middle-aged woman and 187% for older women.
Vehicles aged six years or more increased the likelihood of personal injury for middle-aged female drivers by more then 200% but had no significant impact on the injury levels of women of other ages.
Middle-aged women who drive during the day, drive while under the influence of alcohol or drive while feeling unwell were more likely to suffer car accident injuries. However, the injury levels of middle-aged men driving under the same conditions showed no significant difference.
Driving on curvy roads and driving vehicles six years older or more increased the likelihood of personal injury for middle-aged female drivers but not for middle-aged male drivers.
Professor Mannering suggested the following reasons for variations between car accident injuries suffered by those of different ages and genders, "Possibilities include differences in reaction time and physical differences relating to height, weight and body structure and vehicle design attributes that affect drivers differently. Another possibility is that vehicle safety systems, such as safety belts and airbags, may be more effective for some age and gender categories than for others."
It is thought that in the future more comprehensive studies of male and female age-related responses in road accident situations will be carried out to determine more insight into car accident injuries.
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