What Impact Does Gender Have on Car Accident Fatalities?
According to recent data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), men are more likely to be fatally injured in a car accident compared to women. Many of these tragic accidents are preventable if all motorists followed the road rules.
There are a number of reasons why men are more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident, and those reasons generally fall into two categories: biology and culture. The differences between men and women are countless, but when it comes to driving, behavior behind the wheel is impacted largely by the effects of testosterone versus estrogen, as well as a number of deeply ingrained cultural and gender influences.
Effects of Testosterone
There are pros and cons when it comes to the impact that testosterone has on the body relating to driving. Higher levels of testosterone can contribute to an increase in visual processing, which is the brain’s ability to understand the images that are registered by your eyes, as well as spatial awareness. Visual processing allows you to interpret road conditions and react quickly to other motorists or other unpredictable road hazards.
Spatial awareness is the ability to understand the difference between yourself and other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who are sharing the road. Variations in spatial awareness can be difficult to detect and measure. Oftentimes, people are unaware that a misjudgment in spatial awareness contributed to the accident. Testosterone can also have an impact on the driver’s overall temperament. While this does not mean that all men are aggressive drivers, it does mean that men are more likely to feel overconfident and take unnecessary risks while driving.
Effects of Estrogen
Estrogen has an impact on a woman’s overall physical and emotional health. It also influences the way she drives. For example, estrogen is known to increase a woman’s ability to concentrate on the road and avoid becoming easily distracted. Increased estrogen levels are also associated with improved memory, which means female drivers are more likely to remember how to get to certain places, as well as alternate routes if there is heavy traffic, and the amount of time it takes to get to those destinations. Estrogen does not seem to have any negative effects on women relating to driving.
Cultural Differences Amongst Genders
Cultural differences between men and women also play a key role in driving behavior. For example, from a very young age, boys are encouraged to play with toy cars and trucks. As a result, as boys get older and learn to drive, there is often a lingering concept that cars are toys as opposed to large vehicles that can be extremely dangerous if the driver is distracted, drunk, or engaging in any other unsafe behavior, like speeding.
Many video games feature race cars that are destroyed, and drivers that steal cars. This can have a significant influence on the way young men think about cars, the overall driving experience, and how their behavior behind the wheel impacts other motorists. For example, men are more likely to speed than women, which means that they are more likely to suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries. Younger men, including those who are under 34 years old, are almost twice as likely to suffer a fatal injury in a speeding-related car accident compared to women.
Men and women also have very different purchasing habits. For example, women tend to do more research when they are buying a car and often have a clearer idea of what they are looking for when they arrive at a dealership. In addition, women are more likely to prioritize safety, reliability, and convenience compared to performance and style. As a result, women tend to drive cars that are safer and more reliable, which means they are less likely to be involved in a serious or fatal car accident. Men are also less likely to consistently wear a seat belt when they are driving.
What if I am Injured in a Car Accident?
Regardless of the gender of the at-fault driver, there are a number of factors that you should keep in mind, particularly if you plan to pursue a personal injury lawsuit:
- Report the accident. Any time you are involved in a car accident that causes injuries or fatalities or results in $500 or more in property damage, you must report the accident.
- Georgia car accident statute of limitations. In the state of Georgia, you must file an injury claim within two years of the date of the accident. If the car accident caused a fatality, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the person’s death. If you fail to meet this deadline, your claim will most likely be denied.
- Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. Comparative fault means that you can recover damages from the other party if they are at least partially at fault. Modified comparative negligence means that you can recover damages if the other driver was more at-fault than you. However, the amount of damages you will be eligible to collect will be reduced by the percentage at which you were considered at fault. If you were more than 50 percent at fault, you will not be able to recover any financial damages.
It is important to understand that comparative negligence applies to civil lawsuits that are brought against the at-fault driver. Before it gets to that point, you will file a personal injury claim with your insurance company. The claims adjuster will review the details of the accident and negotiate a settlement offer. There is no precise method to determine precisely how much you and the other driver are liable for the accident. Ultimately, this will be based on your ability to negotiate a strong case with the claims adjuster during a personal injury claim, or how well you are able to convince a judge or jury in a personal injury lawsuit.
While men may be more likely to get into a serious accident, what matters most is what happens immediately following a collision. It is imperative that you call 911 so that police and first responders can get to the scene and you can get medical attention. It is also important that you contact an experienced lawyer who can negotiate the best possible settlement offer for you.
Our Effingham County Auto Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Motorists Who Have Been Injured in Car Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a collision, you are urged to contact one of our Effingham County auto accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law as soon as possible. Whether the motorist that hit you is male or female, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who caused the accident. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.