Women Less Protected in Car Accidents in Vero Beach and Elsewhere

April 5, 2012 by Dean H. Freeman

Some cars may not be getting as high a safety rating this year as they've gotten in past years. No, car manufacturers may not be to blame for the lack of safety. It may all be blamed on researchers.

In recent crash tests, officials with the federal government took out the average-size male dummy and put in a smaller female dummy. The safety results dipped.
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While these new ratings may not be the most comforting to hear, it's a good glimpse into how the size of the vehicle occupant can affect the outcome of a car accident in Vero Beach and elsewhere.

Our Vero Beach injury attorneys understand that these findings will help improve safety going forward. Consumers have relied on these safety ratings to help them to choose the proper vehicle for their lifestyle and for their family. Now that different size crash dummies are helping to get a peek into how occupants of all sizes are affected in the event of a collision, a lot of people are reconsidering their top picks. The star-rating system's frontal crash test only uses the male dummy behind the wheel, which concerns a lot of on-the-go moms.

Advocates for consumer safety say that the dummy's inadequate performance in accidents shows that more needs to be done to better test these vehicles for their safety offerings to smaller people and women in the event of an accident. For more than 30 years, these tests and information have helped consumers to buy the safest cars. Could they have been deceived?

According to experts, smaller people experience few crash forces that the body is able to tolerate. When cars slam into utility poles or trees, smaller vehicle occupants typically suffer more pelvic, abdominal and head injuries. Because women have less muscular necks, they're also more likely to suffer from whiplash.

The University of Virginia conducted a study last year that concluded that females who wore a seat belt were nearly 50 percent more likely to suffer from serious injuries in the event of an accident as a male-belted driver.

A number of safe driving advocacy groups say that they've been urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to use an average-sized male dummy. In addition, these groups say that the test should include women, elderly, obese and large child dummies.

Right now, the dummies do not match the average size of Americans.

“A lot of women do substantial (safety) research before going to buy a car,” said Joan Claybrook, a longtime consumer advocate. “Yet there’s not a whole lot of information about how cars impact women.”

If you or someone in your family has been in an accident in Vero Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami or elsewhere in South Florida, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard can help you understand your rights and are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free and confidential review of your rights, 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Accident in Fort Lauderdale Kills Expectant Mother and Unborn Child, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 28, 2012