Risk of dying in crashes drops for women in newer cars, but still more than men, study shows

WASHINGTON D.C. — A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows women are safer in newer cars during crashes, but still not as safe as men.

The agency reviewed the risk of death for women in crashes when compared to men.

NHTSA has been studying this safety disparity between men and women drivers and their crash risks for almost a decade.

This latest report shows major safety improvements for car models starting in 2000.

The study shows the gender disparity in estimated car deaths for women dropped from 18% to 6% in 2010-2020 vehicles. The rate is even lower for 2015-2020 models.

Another factor is that newer cars have dual air bags, which can also reduce the risk for injuries.

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Auto safety advocates say they credit increased seat belt standards and education campaigns for these declines.

“If there’s anything that’s clear in this data, is Increasing seat belt use rate is a huge factor for everybody. Put your seat belt on every time make sure everybody in your vehicle is belted, not only just because you care about them, but also because scarily enough, in a collision, those people become projectiles that aren’t belted in,” said Shaun Kildare, Senior Director of Research for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Auto safety groups say they’re pushing for more safety technology requirements in cars to help prevent collisions altogether.

“Let’s take for example, automatic emergency braking. If we can avoid the collision altogether, we may also see these reductions,” said Kildare. “But likewise, if we start lowering the speed at which these collisions are happening, we may see a further reduction.”

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