Body Composition Comparison
According to research, female and male bodies react differently to injury because of body composition. For example, women have smaller neck muscles, making them more susceptible to injuries such as whiplash. Furthermore, estrogen affects the rigidity of the muscles. Loose muscles have greater resistance to damage compared to rigid muscles.
Additionally, women generally have smaller statures than men, with an average height difference of 5.5 inches, and an average weight difference of 35lbs. As a result, women are twice as likely to develop leg, spine, and abdominal injuries when in an auto accident compared to men. Women between the ages of 20-35 have a higher chance of dying than males, when exposed to a similar crashing force, due to their smaller stature.
Other factors that contribute to injury susceptibility include the position of the headrest, driving posture, and the position of the driver’s seat. Combining all these factors, women are 73% more likely to be injured in a car accident and are 47% more likely to suffer severe injuries.
How Safety Features Impact Injuries
To date, the safety features implemented in modern vehicles were designed for men. Statistically, men have greater exposure to traffic as they drive more miles. This, in turn, puts them at greater risk for auto accidents. As a result, crash dummies are developed after the male physique. These dummies require extensive research, and statistic analysis before effective models can be made. Research is currently ongoing, toward the development of a female crash dummy.
As a direct result, female drivers suffer more chest and spinal injuries when seatbelted in comparison to men. Even though women are more likely to sustain serious injuries in car accidents, men sustain more fatal injuries.
How Gender Can Impact Scarring & Disfigurement Settlements
Scarring and disfigurement are classified as residual injuries, meaning they can last a lifetime. The value of a scar lies heavily in the presumption that scars cause embarrassment to the injured party. Courts will also assume that the resulting emotional trauma is greater for women. As a result, women may receive higher compensation for scarring and disfigurement than men.
How Gender Can Impact Wage Loss
The gender of the injured party can also impact wage loss calculation. To calculate wage loss, the yearly salary of the injured party and the remaining years the party would have worked are multiplied together. However, two factors may affect this calculation, namely the life-span and gender of the injured party. Females have a longer life-span, and as a result, may receive greater compensation for wage loss. Additionally, a female complaintant may lose a significant sum as this calculation also assumes that a woman will stop working in order to raise children. Therefore, lowering the multiplier used to calculate wage loss compensation. Comparatively, this calculation also assumes that men are the main source of income for their families, resulting in greater compensation.