Gender Gap in Car Accident Deaths?
By Space Coast Daily // May 10, 2022
Many people will tell you that women make bad drivers if you ask around. This belief is based on a long-held misconception that women are inferior to men and thus cannot be better drivers than their counterparts. But accident statistics tell a different story.
What the Statistics Show
While there are more licensed women drivers than men in America, the number of male drivers involved in an accident is significantly higher than that of their women counterparts.
Since 1975, per capita fatality rates for males on American roadways have always doubled that of women. According to data from NHTSA, 75 percent of passenger deaths involved male drivers. In the same year, men accounted for up to 96 percent of big rig driver fatalities, with the same applying to cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Males Drive More and Are Risk Takers
Road safety experts point to several factors as being the reason for male drivers’ likelihood to cause an accident compared to women. First, male drivers tend to drive many miles than their female counterparts, meaning they have a longer time on the road, creating more opportunities for accidents. Data from the NHTSA show that male drivers drive 16,550 miles a year on average compared to 10,142 miles driven by female drivers in the same period.
Statistics show that Male drivers are responsible for over 6 million accidents on American roadways while female drivers account for 4.4 million accidents. Also, accidents caused by male drivers are by far more likely to cause serious injuries or death than accidents involving female drivers.
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), men are prone to causing deadly accidents because they tend to be risk-takers, a trait that leads to tragedy when brought to the road. Some of the most common risky driving habits that men are more likely to engage in, unlike women, include speeding, DUI, cutting off other drivers, texting and driving, failure to buckle up, and running a red lights.
While the data may point to fewer fatalities among females than males, it doesn’t mean that females are less vulnerable to fatal accidents. It only shows that women are less likely to be involved in a severe accident. According to data from IIHS, females may be more vulnerable than male drivers when exposed to the same severity of a crash, with younger women being even more vulnerable.
Auto Safety Features Not Designed For the Female Body
Car safety features have undergone drastic improvements over the years. However, for the most part, safety features such as seatbelts and airbags are designed with a male driver in mind. All safety tests are performed with a male dummy. This means improvements to vehicle safety features are guided by how the dummy is impacted by a simulated accident. The car’s design also influences how a woman sits while driving, making her more vulnerable when exposed to an accident of similar severity and force as a male driver.
“Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye regardless if you are male or female. Someone may be driving down the road and going about their day when their life is changed by the negligence of another. Always take extra precaution before driving to make sure all your mirrors are adjusted and that you are wearing your seat belt,“ says car accident attorney Dan Christensen.
At age 70, both male and female divers’ probability of being in an accident tends to level up. The reason for the leveling up could be the realization among the menfolk about their vulnerability to injury that comes with age making them more likely to drop risky driving behavior.