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Women more at risk of whiplash

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Women drivers are three times more likely than men to suffer from whiplash if their car is hit from behind, say Swedish researchers.

They studied the way over 200 men and women adjusted their car seats, how they sat while driving and when stationery. They also looked at insurance company data from more than 400 claims for whiplash injuries during the 1990’s.

Women’s risk of injury is increased because they tend to sit higher and closer to the steering wheel and have the seat back more upright, said the team fromUmeaUniversity.

They also found that – for both men and women - sitting in the driver’s seat doubled the risk of whiplash injuries compared to sitting in the front passenger seat.

The researchers called for better designs of crash-test dummies to better represent the female population, and the development of new safety systems to protect the occupants of cars from rear-end impacts.

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