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Do More Men Die in Car Accidents than Women?

Published: Mar 21, 2022 in Personal Injury
St. Clair County Car Accident

Of the more than 36,000 deaths related to car accidents in the United States in 2019, more of them were men than women. In fact, more than 70 percent of collision fatalities that year were male. According to a recent study, this breakdown is in tune with the statistics for every other year going back to at least 1975.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The report shows that male drivers are involved in more severe accidents, but, interestingly, women are more likely to become injured or die in car accidents.

What Are the Findings of the U.S.-DOT Study?

The result of the U.S.-DOT project is a collection of data from 1975 through 2019 that revealed that, during the study period, car accidents killed more than twice as many men as women. Over the 45 years covered by the study, researchers saw a decrease in crash-related fatalities among drivers of both genders, with male fatalities decreasing by 22 percent and female fatalities dropping 12 percent.

Over the course of the years covered by the study, the gap between fatality figures for men and women has narrowed.

Why Are Male Drivers Involved in More Severe Accidents?

Men are more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident for a number of reasons. First, statistically male drivers engage in riskier driving behavior such as speeding and not wearing a seat belt. Men are more likely than women to drive impaired.

Another factor that accounts for there being more crash-related deaths among men is that men spend more time behind the wheel. Men are more likely to hold jobs that involve driving, so they are putting in more hours on the road. More time and miles spent driving presents more opportunity for dangerous accidents.

Does the Age of the Driver Make a Difference?

As drivers’ ages increase, there is less of a difference in fatality rates between men and women.

As an illustration, researchers focused on passenger vehicle fatal crash rates per 100 million miles traveled from April 2016 through March 2017. The chart presented data showing that younger drivers, those in the groups between ages 16 and 19 and 20 and 29, showed the starkest differences when separated by sex.

Men in the 16 to 19 age group were killed at a rate of 6.4 per 100 million miles traveled, whereas women in that same age group experienced a death rate of only 3.3 deaths per 100 million miles. Men in their 20s were killed in accidents at a rate of 3.9 per 100 million miles traveled, and women in their twenties showed a death rate of 1.6.

For the gendered groups of drivers between age 30 and 59, the death rates per 100 million miles traveled were 1.6 for men and 1.1 for women. The next age groups, men and women in their 60s, showed vehicle accident death rates of 1.5 and 1.0, respectively, per 100 million miles traveled. Drivers over 70 had a fatal crash rate per 100 million miles of 2.8 for men and 2.1 for women.

Does the Type of Vehicle Make a Difference?

The study included motor-vehicle crash fatality information broken down by type of vehicle, including passenger vehicles, large trucks, motorcycles, as well as travelers on bicycles and on foot. This chart showed that in accidents involving any one of these modes of transportation, men were more likely to be killed than women.

In 2019, men made up 71 percent all motor vehicle deaths, including 71 percent of passenger vehicle driver fatalities, 48 percent of deaths of passengers in passenger vehicles, 96 percent of truck driver deaths, 67 percent of passengers who died in large truck accidents, 91 percent of those killed on motorcycles, 86 percent of bicyclist fatalities, and 70 percent of pedestrians who died in incidents involving a motor vehicle.

What Did the Study Say about Motorcycle Fatalities?

In 2019, male deaths on motorcycles made up 91 percent compared with that of women of nine percent.

The statistics on motorcycle deaths show that fatalities from accidents have increased by more than 50 percent for both genders since 1975.

Are There Factors that Show a Greater Danger for Women?

Over the years studied, a trend emerges: When the fatality victims were passengers, the number of men killed each year outnumbered the share of women under similar conditions for a significant portion of the years covered by the study. However, in 2014, the share of female passengers killed was greater than the share of male passenger deaths for the first time, a trend that continued for the remainder of the study.

How Do Death Rates Compare between Men and Women?

Encouragingly, the death rates among both gender groups have decreased over the years. The gap between the rates for each group has narrowed as well.

At the beginning of the study period, the difference in the death rates was wider between the sexes than it was in 2019. In the mid to late 1970s, crash deaths of men happened at a rate of more than 21.6 per 100,000 population on average, whereas women died at a rate of nearly 8.66 per 100,000; the average is from 1975 to 1979.

On average, in the decade between 1990 and 2000, the death rate for men from vehicle accidents was 15.7 per 100,000 population, and the rate for women was 8.35 deaths per 100,000.

Between 2010 and the end of the study in 2019, the death rate from motor vehicle crashes was below 10 per 100,000 population among men. During that same period, the death rate for women hovered around five per 100,000.


St. Clair County Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Can Help Accident Victims Understand Their Rights

If you were injured in a car accident, you should speak to someone who can help you understand your rights to collect damages for your losses. The St. Clair County accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can tell you if you have a viable case against a liable party who can be held responsible for the injuries you suffered in the collision. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.