New study finds women more likely to be trapped in a vehicle after a crash

  • May 19, 2022

Women are almost twice as likely as men to be trapped in a vehicle after a traffic collision, according to a new study of UK injury data.

The authors say the research, which also looked at the differences in injury patterns by sex, may help vehicle manufacturers, emergency services personnel and road-safety organisations to tailor responses with the aim of more equitable outcomes by targeting equal performance of safety measures and reducing excessive risk to one sex over another.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the researchers were motivated to carry out the study after reading Caroline Criado Perez’s bestselling book ‘Invisible Women’which highlighted research by Astrid Linder, Research Director of Traffic Safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) on how women are more likely to be seriously injured in car crashes, because crash test dummies were modelled on the “average male”.

The study looked at data from 70,027 patients admitted to hospitals in the UK between January 2012 and December 2019, finding that although men were more likely to be involved in serious crashes and admitted to hospital, 16% of women became trapped in the wreckage, versus only 9% of men. Women also sustained more hip and spinal injuries, whereas men suffered more head, face, chest and limb injuries.

The research was published in BMJ Open.