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For some women, seatbelts are simply uncomfortable. This isn't necessarily news. But what is surprising is that female drivers and passengers are at a higher risk of injury compared to their male counterparts.
A recent study slated to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health found that female drivers wearing seatbelts are more likely to sustain chest and spine injuries in car crashes than males.
It seems that the higher injury risk is something to do with a woman's shorter stature and their preferred seating posture, reports USA Today.
And it might have something to do with the fact that seatbelts and other life-saving gadgets in automobiles aren't designed with the female body in mind.
They're usually geared more towards men.
This isn't necessarily because the automobile industry doesn't want to protect women. Generally, men are three times more likely than women to be involved in serious car crashes that lead to injuries and fatalities, as ABC News points out. So it might make sense to make seatbelts with a man in mind considering they have a higher likelihood of being in an accident.
Can auto makers be liable for their seatbelt design? Usually, auto manufacturers are strictly liable for errors that cause injury. However, in order for the strict liability to come into play the car must contain an "unreasonably dangerous" defect. Here, it doesn't seem like a seatbelt tailored more towards one gender would fall into that category.
But maybe it's time for automobile manufacturers to institute design changes to make vehicles safer for both men and women.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.