Men Face Higher Risk of Injury from Pedestrian Car Accidents: Study
Male pedestrians are more likely to sustain serious injuries when struck by a motor vehicle, experiencing worse long-term health outcomes and higher rates of death than females, according to the findings of a recent study.
Researchers from the Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Rasht, Iran published findings last month in the medical journal Springer Nature Limited, highlighting the greater rates of pedestrian-related car accidents among men, as well as substantially higher instances of suffering severe head and pelvic injuries that resulted in disability or death.
The study comes amid continuing concerns about the rising numbers of pedestrian accidents in the United States and a number of other countries, despite efforts to improve pedestrian safety. In 2018, the U.S. reported the highest number of pedestrian fatalities seen since 1990. Approximately 6,227 U.S. pedestrians were killed in 2018, which accounted for 15% of all motor vehicle accidents reported in the country.
The problems have worsened in more recent years, as pedestrian traffic deaths surged in the U.S. following the COVID-19 pandemic, with rates increasing by 37% between 2000 and 2020.
Much of the risk in pedestrian deaths has been blamed on the increasing popularity of SUVs, pickup trucks and other large vehicles, which have become more common on U.S. roadways over the last few decades. These types of vehicles typically have high front ends that can cause catastrophic injuries to pedestrians and cyclists, especially among children.
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While many U.S. cities implemented strategies to improve pedestrian safety, U.S. pedestrian fatalities still increased by 1.7% in 2018 and Iran has also seen a spike in pedestrian accident deaths, which accounted for nearly one-fifth of all vehicle accident fatalities there.
Men More Likely to Suffer Severe Pedestrian Accident Injuries
This new study analyzed the data of 917 injured pedestrians within the age range of 15-70 years in Northern Iran. 42.1% of the participants were aged 41-69 years old, and 81.31% were male. The most common injuries reported involved head or facial injuries, including brain contusions, bleeding, or skull fractures, followed by lower limb or pelvic injuries.
Male participants were also found to have a significantly higher chance of suffering worse health outcomes. According to the findings, 36 male pedestrians suffered fatal accident injuries, compared to nine female pedestrian fatalities. In addition, 73 male pedestrians were left with moderate disability, 8 suffered severe disability, and one was left in a vegetative state as a result of their injuries. Researchers noted that female participants suffered significantly fewer traumatic injuries overall.
The researchers suggest the higher rates of male pedestrian fatalities and poorer recoveries could be related to a higher male presence in traffic settings, and the known overall higher rate of male mortality, compared to women.
They determined that the findings emphasize the need for pedestrian accident prevention strategies, including the implementation of pedestrian safety measures that other countries reported were successful in reducing overall instances of motor vehicle accidents. Researchers also indicated the design of newer vehicles could also help in preventing severe pedestrian injuries, such as the inclusion of such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and designing front ends to be less deadly in pedestrian impacts.
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