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The Making of Medicine

Women More Likely to Suffer Injuries in Car Crashes

While cars have become safer over the last 10 years, women who are buckled up are significantly more likely to suffer injury than men, UVA’s Center for Applied Biomechanics has foiund. In fact, women have a 73% greater cbance of being seriously injured in frontal crashes. The risk difference is greatest for injury to the lower extremities, but it’s also significant for other injuries, too.

Why is this? “Until we understand the fundamental biomechanical factors that contribute to increased risk for females, we’ll be limited in our ability to close the risk gap,” Jason Forman, a principal scientist with the center, told UVA Today. “This will take substantial effort, and in my view the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not have the resources needed to address this issue.”

The good news is that cars are, overall, safer for both men and women. Newer cars have cut down your chances for skull fractures, cervical spine injuries, abdominal injuries and injuries to the knee-hip region and to the ankle.

For more details, Fariss Samarrai has a nice writeup on the new findings from the center, which is a joint effort of the School of Medicine and UVA’s School of Engineering. And if you take away just one thing, it should be, “Wear your seatbelt.”

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