Gender differences of young drivers on injury severity outcome of highway crashes
AUTHORS: Niranga Amarasinghaa, Sunanda Dissanayakeb
Gender differences of young drivers involved in crashes and the associated differences in risk factors have not been fully explored in the United States (U.S.). Accordingly, this study investigated the topic, where the odds ratios (ORs) were used to identify differences in crash involvements between male and female young drivers.
Logistic regression models for injury severity of young male drivers and young female drivers were developed. Different driver, environmental, vehicle, and road related factors that have affected young female drivers’ and young male drivers’ crash involvements were identified using the models.
Results indicated that some variables are significantly related to female drivers’ injury risk but not male drivers’ injury risk and vice versa. Variables such as driving with valid licenses, driving on weekends, avoidance or slow maneuvers at time of crash, non-collision and overturn crashes, and collision with a pedestrian were significant variables in female driver injury severity model but not in young male driver severity model. Travel on graded roadways, concrete surfaces, and wet road surfaces, collision with another vehicle, and rear-end collisions were variables that were significant in male-driver severity model but not in female-driver severity model.
Factors which increase young female drivers’ injury severity and young male drivers’ injury severity were identified. This study adds detailed information about gender differences and similarities in injury severity risk of young drivers.
It is important to note that the findings of this study show that gender differences do exists among young drivers. This sends a message to the industry that the transportation professionals and researchers, who are developing countermeasures to increase the traffic safety, may need to pay attention to the differences. This might be particularly true when developing education materials for driver training for young/inexperienced drivers.
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