Sexist safety systems put women at higher risk of car crashes

London: Women are more likely sustain injuries in car crashes because safety features are designed by men with themselves in mind, a new study including an Indian-origin researcher has found.

Researchers investigated 10 years’ worth of data on U.S. motor vehicle accidents and discovered female drivers wearing seatbelts were 47 per cent more likely to suffer serious injury than males, reports the Daily Mail.

They found that belted female drivers suffered more chest and spine injuries than strapped-in male drivers in comparable crashes.

Previous studies have investigated the differences in the way men and women drive, but Dipan Bose and Jeff Crandall of the University of Virginia and Maria Segui-Gomez of Navarra University in Spain, found the male-centric design of safety measures is a major factor.

The positioning of head restraints, for example, fails to take account of the size and strength of women’s necks.

Women also face greater risk of injuries to the lower parts of their bodies because of their shorter stature, discovered the researchers, who looked at statistics between 1998 and 2008.

The researchers noted, ‘a higher risk of lower extreme injuries reported for female drivers as a result of their relatively short stature, preferred seating posture and a combination of these factors yielding lower safety protection from the standard restraint devices.’

Based on these results, the study authors concluded that, ‘female motor vehicle drivers today may not be as safe as their male counterparts.


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