A recent study confirmed the widely-held assumption that young male drivers pay far higher monthly car insurance premiums than young women and older drivers of either gender. The insurance industry maintains there’s data to substantiate the claim that young men are riskier drivers that get more tickets and are involved in more accidents, which means they are, on average, more expensive to insure. Turns out that although they pay higher rates, young male drivers may have a more important advantage over the rest of the population -- survivability.
Survivability & Head-On Vehicle Collisions
Consider the findings of a 2014 study that examined risk factors associated with drivers' survival in head-on vehicle collisions. Conducted by a doctoral student at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the results showed that the drivers’ chance of survival was increased by being younger and being a male, as well as driving a vehicle with a higher mass, driving a newer vehicle, using a seatbelt and having the airbag deployed in the crash. It determined that 21 percent of the people involved in head-on collisions were young people between the ages of 15 and 24, which was more than any other age group, yet their 39 percent rate of death was the lowest among all age groups.
The question of why women were more likely than men to die in head-on collisions was deferred by this study to medical trauma experts. An earlier study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) speculated that one reason was because young men (those in the 21 to 30 age group) tend to be larger and stronger than women, and thus more likely to survive crash injuries. This same 2013 study further determined that after age 35, the advantage faded and by age 70, the risk of dying in a car accident was about equal between the genders.
Bigger = Safer?
The IUPUI study also examined vehicle inequity, including factors such as weight, height and rigidity. With other variables being equal, the study concluded that drivers of cars were 17 times more likely to die in a head-on accident compared to the drivers of light trucks and 9 times more likely than SUV drivers. The thought is that because cars generally are smaller and weigh less than pickup trucks and SUVs, they are at a disadvantage in collisions with heavier vehicles. Less structure and size to absorb crash energy means higher crash forces on occupants. Heavier vehicles tend to make out better in some single-vehicle crashes because they are more likely to bend or move objects they hit. The tall profile of SUVs may also be advantageous because they are less likely to go under another vehicle in a collision, and because sitting higher means occupants are less likely to have head and chest injuries in crashes with shorter vehicles due to the lower point of impact.
A Dubious #1
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of unintentional death worldwide. The NHTSA reports that in 2012, there were 5,419,000 police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes that killed over 33,500 people. Here in Florida, there were approximately 340,667 crashes last year resulting in 223,452 injuries and 2,542 fatalities. In fact, we consistently rank in the top five deadliest states in the nation for traffic fatalities.
No matter your age, gender or vehicle size, if you have been in an auto crash, the Miami car accident attorneys at Stabinski Law can help. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless traffic collision victims and their families throughout South Florida. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact us by calling (305) 643-3100 or filling out a free case evaluation form.
DISCLAIMER: The information about past verdicts and settlements is based on the unique facts of each case. Every case is different, and future cases may not achieve the same or similar results. These amounts reflect the gross recovery (before attorneys’ fees and expenses are deducted).