CHARLOTTSVILLE, VA – Researchers at the University of Virginia have conducted a study finding that female drivers are more likely than male drivers to suffer serious injuries in vehicle crashes. 

The research project, which analyzed national crash data between 1998 and 2008, concludes that health policies and vehicle regulations need to address the application of safety designs that are specifically tailored for female drivers in order to close the gender gap.

The study will be published in the December issue of American Journal of Public Health. The goal of the study was to determine whether advances in occupant safety technology provide equal injury protection for female and male drivers involved in serious crashes.

Researchers found that the odds for a belt-restrained female driver to sustain severe injuries were 47 percent higher than those for a belt-restrained male driver involved in a comparable crash.

The study was authored by Dipan Bose, Maria Segui-Gomez and Jeff R. Crandall, all from the University of Virginia.