Accident Risks Remain Despite Airbags, Seatbelts

A 2013 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compared vehicle crash and injury data for men and women of different ages. During young adulthood, women are more likely than men to suffer an injury or die if they get into a car accident. With time, however, the gender disparity diminishes and by the age of 70, men and women are equally likely to be injured or killed in car crashes.

Overall, the auto accident death and injury rate is higher for men than women, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Men tend to drive more than women and also typically have riskier driving habits. This is why auto insurance rates for male teenagers are so high — boys are twice as likely to get into an auto wreck as teenage girls. However, safety technologies like airbags do help. In 2009 NHSTA estimated that frontal airbags had saved 28,000 lives.

Nonetheless, by age 35, women are 25%-30% more likely to suffer injury or death than their male counterparts.

Despite these encouraging findings, airbags are not a total solution to traffic safety. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, frontal airbags are unlikely to deploy during a sidelong auto crash, meaning that drivers without side airbags are not protected in T-bone car wrecks. Also, the sheer force of airbags can hurt drivers and passengers when they deploy. A few examples of common airbag-related injuries include eye injuries, burns and wounds.

It is also important to wear a seatbelt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, buckling up reduces the chances of serious injury or death in auto collision by 50%.

Despite this, Richmond had the highest number of accidents involving unbuckled drivers in the state of Virginia during 2012. Henrico County, the area that surrounds the city of Richmond, had the 3rd highest number of auto accidents with drivers who were not wearing seatbelts.

Even with the help of airbags, seatbelts and defensive driving, car crashes remain the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury fatalities for people of all ages in the United States. In Virginia, the Interstate 95 corridor is particularly dangerous. According to a report by AAA, 94% of survey participants have seen another driver engage in dangerous, distracted driving on I-95, Virginia’s busiest freeway.

Drivers and passengers who have been injured in an auto accident, tractor-trailer wreck or other traffic crash may be eligible for financial compensation for their pain, suffering and medical needs. If you have been hurt in an accident in the Richmond area, contact the auto accident lawyers at Geoff McDonald and Associates for legal help. Ph: (866) 369-9051.