Are Women Less Likely to be Involved in a Car Accident?
Does gender play a role in the likelihood of being involved in a car accident in Florida? When it comes to teen drivers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that among teen drivers the risk of being in a motor vehicle crash is two times higher for male drivers than for female drivers. But if we are discussing traffic collision risk factors for all age groups, does sex or gender have an impact on a person’s likelihood of being involved in a car crash? According to a recent study published in the journal Ageing and Society, older adult women may be less at risk of being involved in a car crash as the driver because they may be less likely to get behind the wheel of a car.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at Florida State University, suggests that “as people across the country prepare to travel home for the holidays, mothers and grandmothers may be phoning a friend or family member to get them there.” As such, older women may be less likely to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and thus less likely to cause a car crash.
Older Adult Women Self-Regulate When It Comes to Potentially Dangerous Driving
We know that older adult drivers are at greater risk of motor vehicle crash injuries than younger adult drivers. As a fact sheet from the CDC explains, as of 2015 more than 40 million adults aged 65 and older were licensed to drive. A person’s car crash risk is high during teen years, and then it recedes in adulthood. However, the risk of being harmed in a traffic collision begins to increase again as people age. The CDC notes that “involvement in fatal crashes . . . begins increasing among drivers ages 70-74,” while people aged 85 and older are most likely to be involved in a deadly crash. Older adults are at greater risk of serious and fatal injuries for two reasons: they are more susceptible to injury due to declining health, and declining health (such as eyesight and response time) makes focusing on the road and defensive driving more difficult.
The recent study suggests that older adult women may be more attuned to these limitations than men, and as a result, they self-regulate their own driving. Indeed, women aged 65 and older “self-regulate their driving twice as much as men do.” While older adult women may avoid driving altogether if there are transportation alternatives, the largest percentage of participants in the study said that they would avoid driving during nighttime hours. Others indicated that they avoid driving when they do not have a passenger, when there is inclement weather, and when the destination requires driving on a highway or otherwise busy road.
Need for Better Transportation Alternatives for Elderly Florida Residents
According to the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs, more than 26 percent of the current population in Florida is aged 60 or older. Nearly 14 percent of the population is aged 70 or older, which is the age at which the risk of being involved in a fatal car accident rises significantly.
Given the high percentage of elderly Florida residents, it is extremely important to consider the ways in which alternative transportation options could prevent car accidents. The recent study suggests that fewer elderly women in the state are likely to cause a car accident because of self-regulation, but having feasible alternatives beyond bus routes could help to reduce the risk of deadly motor vehicle crashes among seniors regardless of sex or gender.
Contact a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Do you have questions about filing a car accident claim? A dedicated West Palm Beach car accident attorney can assist you. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to learn more about how we can help with your lawsuit.