Drivers in New York may be surprised to hear that women run a higher risk for car accident injuries than men. For a study published in July’s edition of Traffic Injury Prevention, researchers looked at some 22,000 front-end crashes. They found that women were 73% more likely to be hurt in these types of collisions. Not only that, females were also twice as likely to suffer spine, abdomen and leg injuries.

It should be noted that researchers excluded any female vehicle occupants who were more than three months pregnant or did not wear a three-point seatbelt. To get more precise data, they divided the cases into those involving newer vehicles (from 2009 upward) and older vehicles. They discovered that newer vehicle models saw 55% fewer injuries and were especially good at preventing spine, abdomen and lower-body injuries.

There are likely several reasons why women are more vulnerable. One is the lack of safety data that is specific to women. In crash tests, for example, dummies are mostly modeled on men. To denote a female, a smaller dummy is used. But size is not the only difference between males and females. Differences in fat distribution, muscle concentration and pelvis shape must be taken into account, too. Otherwise, vehicles will continue to provide imperfect protection.

Most motor vehicle crashes are caused by driver negligence rather than a safety device manufacturer. That’s why an injured crash victim will probably want to file a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver. New York is a no-fault state, so there are restrictions on who can do this. With a lawyer, a plaintiff may strive for a reasonable settlement covering medical bills, lost wages, a diminished capacity to earn a living and more.