Who is more likely to be injured in a car crash, a man or a woman? It is not easy to answer this question.

Men make up a large majority of the individuals who are killed in fatal motor vehicle accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 26,380 men were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2017, compared to 10,697 women that year.

However, this sex or gender difference is largely explained by the fact that, on average, men drive more miles than women. Statistically, men are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior, as well, such as drunk driving, speeding and not using a seatbelt. Partially because of these factors, male drivers tend to get into more severe crashes than female drivers.

Looked at another way, the crash statistics show some risks that are disproportionately affecting women. When researchers look at crashes of equal severity, taking into account factors such as speed and vehicle size, they find that women are more likely than men to be killed or injured.

One common explanation for this discrepancy is that since women tend to be smaller than men, they are more vulnerable to collisions. A recent study found another possible explanation. Looking at the types of injuries suffered in car crashes, University of Virginia researchers found that the dummies used in automobile crash tests do not account for the wide variety of size and shape among American women. Thus, safety features that protect some women are less effective for others.

People who are injured in a car crash caused by the negligence of another driver may be able to recover compensation for their damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering, through a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney with experience in personal injury claims can advise the injured and their families on their legal rights and options.