Why women may be more at risk in a car accident


Javier A. Finlay

6/10/20222 min read

woman in gray hoodie sitting inside car during daytime
woman in gray hoodie sitting inside car during daytime

Most people would agree that the habits of drivers in Florida and elsewhere continue to get worse. Traffic fatalities have gone up dramatically across the country since 2020, and according to recent research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it is women who are more likely to experience serious injury or death than men.

The study found that, although there are more motor vehicle accident fatalities overall for men than women, women are up to 28% more at risk of deadly injury and as much as 73% more prone to serious injury than men in an accident. Moderate injuries that women are likely to suffer from a front or side crash include:

  • Broken bones

  • Leg injuries

  • Collapsed lung

  • Traumatic brain injury

As it turns out, women tend to choose smaller and lighter vehicles than men, which exposes them to more risk of injury in an accident. But women’s bodies also react differently from men’s to the impact of a collision. Choosing crash test dummies that more accurately reflect the size and proportions of a woman will go a long way toward modifying safety measures that will protect both women and men equally.

How Florida no-fault insurance laws factor into filing a claim

Under Florida’s no-fault insurance system, all registered drivers must carry insurance that will pay for damages in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault. The minimums are:

  • Property damage liability (PDL), $10,000

  • Personal injury protection (PIP), $10,000

In addition, drivers may purchase bodily injury liability (BIL), which pays out to others who have suffered an injury. PDL covers damages to the other vehicle, and PIP pays up to 80% of medical expenses, lost income or survivor’s loss, and funeral expenses.

When filing a personal injury is the best option

Because Florida’s minimum insurance requirements are so low, many victims of a car crash that was due to a negligent driver cannot possibly receive the compensation they deserve under available no-fault insurance coverage. For this reason, it is possible for a negligence claim to move forward in civil court if the injuries to the plaintiff will exceed existing insurance limits.

Florida follows the theory of comparative negligence, which allows the injured party to receive compensation that is equivalent to the percentage of responsibility that they share with the other driver in causing the accident.