Car crash statistics by gender: Are men or women involved in more accidents?

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and serious injuries in the United States. The risk is spread across all types of people, but gender can play an important role in determining who is more likely to be involved in a crash — and who will suffer more serious injuries if they are.

Continue reading to learn more about car crash statistics by gender, then contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates if you’ve been injured in an accident in Illinois.

car crash statistics by gender

Men vs. women in car accidents

Car crash statistics by gender can be summarized in one sentence: Men are more likely to get into a car accident, while women tend to experience more severe outcomes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5.39 million male drivers were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, compared to 3.72 million female drivers. The difference is even more pronounced regarding fatal accidents: Male drivers were involved in 75% of fatal crashes, while female drivers only accounted for 25%. A similar gender disparity can be found in crashes resulting in injuries.

Despite this disparity, the number of injuries is spread more evenly between genders. The same data shows that approximately 1.15 million men and 1.12 million women were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. This includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists — so even though male drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes, they’re not always the ones getting hurt.

This means that women are more likely to suffer serious injury or death from car crashes, even though they’re less likely to be involved in one. It’s been found that women are 73% more likely to be injured and 17% more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than their male counterparts.

Possible explanations for the gender gap

Although the number of licensed male and female drivers is roughly the same, men drive significantly more often than women.

Men tend to be on the road more than women

According to the Federal Highway Administration, men drive an average of 16,550 miles per year, while women drive an average of 10,142 miles per year. These car crash statistics by gender alone may at least partially account for the higher accident involvement rate among men — because they’re on the road more, they have a higher chance of getting into an accident.

Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors

The driving styles of each gender may also play a role in the crash involvement disparity. Compared to women, men are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This behavior can greatly increase the chances of being involved in a crash.

Cars are rarely safety-tested for the female body

As for the higher injury rate among women, one possible explanation is how car manufacturers design and test their vehicles. Regulators of vehicle safety tests only require manufacturers to use test dummies modeled after the average male body, not the average female body.

Physiological differences between genders can mean that these male-tested safety systems may not be as effective in protecting women from serious injury or death.

Addressing the gender gap in car accidents

The car crash statistics by gender are concerning, but there are ways to address the problem.

Driver education

Given the higher prevalence of risky driving behaviors among men — especially young men — there may be a need for more targeted driver education programs aimed at this demographic. Strict graduated licensing programs, which limit the driving privileges of young drivers to help them gain experience gradually, are also effective in reducing accident rates in this group.

Higher standards in manufacturing

In addition, car manufacturers should be held accountable for ensuring that their vehicles are designed to protect all occupants, regardless of gender. This means conducting more rigorous safety tests on cars that consider the differences between male and female bodies — and then using those tests to determine the appropriate safety systems and features for each vehicle.

Crash test dummies that are modeled after the average female body have been designed, and it’s now up to the industry to make sure they’re being used.

Safe driving habits

Finally, drivers of all genders need to practice safe driving habits. This means following speed limits, wearing a seat belt at all times, avoiding distractions, and never driving while intoxicated. Individual drivers can have a major impact on reducing the number of car accidents — and in turn, help reduce the gender gap.

Anyone can be in a crash – Learn more from our attorneys

While car crash statistics by gender can provide some insight into the causes and effects of car accidents, it’s only one piece of a larger puzzle. People of all genders can cause serious car accidents — and victims of these crashes deserve to be compensated for the damages they suffer as a result.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you determine if you’re entitled to compensation and guide you through your next steps.

Contact us today at (800) 985-1819 to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago car accident attorney. We look forward to hearing from you and providing the assistance you need during this difficult time.