The gender gap in motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Motor vehicle accidents |

Insurance rates in Connecticut are largely dependent on statistics on motor vehicle accidents in that state and nationwide. For decades, young men have been statistically more likely to get into motor vehicle accidents than women – but women were more likely to be injured or die in those accidents.

However, new information released might change that. The report – using information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – credits the change to new cars.

Previous findings regarding the gender gap

The previous report from the NHTSA was released in 2013. In that report, the NHTSA said that identical car accidents were more likely to be fatal for women than men.

The updated report released in August 2022, found that the year of the car had a significant impact on those fatality numbers. As one example, women between the ages of 16 to 19 were around 20 percent more likely to die in crashes that took place in cars made between the years 1960-1999.

In cars made between 2000-2020, that percentage dropped to 9.4 percent. If you only look at accidents involving cars with model years 2010 to 2020, that dropped down to 6.3 percent.

Are new cars more safe for women?

Regardless of the model year, cars that have safety features for passengers are less fatal for passengers of all ages and genders. Newer cars have more safety features designed for passengers, referred to as occupant protection systems. These systems are:

  • Advanced seat belts
  • Dual airbags
  • Load limiters

Newer cars are also tested differently than older model years. For example, in addition to more crash data from decades worth of motor vehicle accidents, newer cars are tested with crash test dummies that better represent women passengers.

Eliminating gender disparities going forward

While newer cars put the gender disparity for car crash victims at almost zero, there are still a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Things like age, pre-existing conditions, and where the impact was can influence fatalities regardless of gender.

The NHTSA continues to study motor vehicle accidents to better address these disparities. However, car manufacturers are ultimately responsible for continuing to update their models to be safer for passengers of all genders.