Vulnerability of female drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes: An analysis of US population at risk

Dipan Bose, Maria Segui-Gomez, Jeff R. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Motor vehicle trauma has been effectively reduced over the past decades; however, it is unclear whether the benefits are equally realized by the vehicle users of either sex. With increases in the number of female drivers involved in fatal crashes and similarity in driving patterns and risk behavior, we sought to evaluate if advances in occupant safety technology provide equal injury protection for drivers of either sex involved in a serious or fatal crash. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study with national crash data between 1998 and 2008 to determine the role of driver sex as a predictor of injury outcome when involved in a crash. Results: The odds for a belt-restrained female driver to sustain severe injuries were 47% (95% confidence interval=28%, 70%) higher than those for a beltrestrained male driver involved in a comparable crash. Conclusions: To address the sex-specific disparity demonstrated in this study, health policies and vehicle regulations must focus on effective safety designs specifically tailored toward the female population for equity in injury reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2368-2373
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume101
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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