Female Specific Motorcycle Injuries

Female Specific Motorcycle Injuries

As a follow-up to the boy’s injury post, I wanted to do one for the girls. In thinking back through the thousands of cases we have handled, I could only think of a maybe one where a female was injured in her groin, a tear as I recall. Obviously, I am not posting pictures of that. But I started thinking, as far as accidents, why we see far fewer women injured than men, not just the fact that there are more male riders, but proportionally, it seems there are fewer accidents per 100 women than 100 men, so I did some research.

I found several articles and studies. One stood out, a six-year study of Level 1 Trauma data, which said that women suffered significantly different rates of injuries and types of injuries, from men, and the reasons for these why.

The study found female patients were younger, less often drunken, more often wore helmets, more often chose to be transported by emergency medical services, and arrived at the emergency department between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. compared to male patients.

Women suffered significantly higher rates of injuries to the extremities, but lower rates of injuries to the head/neck, face, and thorax than male patients. More interesting, female patients had a significantly lower Injury Severity Score (ISS) and adjusted odds ratio of in-hospital mortality. Fewer females die according to the study bc they are less likely to be riding impaired and engaging in other high-risk riding behaviors (ie, speed). Due to lower injury severity, fewer female patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and female patients had a significantly shorter hospital and ICU length of stay.

Women do sometimes suffer “straddle injury”, or trauma to the groin area between the thighs, from striking hard objects or falling onto various parts of a motorcycle. We have already seen what is injured in men, in our previous post. For women, the comparable injury is to the outer genitals or the vulva. But like I said, I can really only think of one case where we saw anything more significant than bruising and soreness in this area for a female rider in over 30 years of doing these cases.

Other articles suggest women are much less likely to be in an accident compared to men for various reasons including:

  1. The reasons women ride. The top reasons women reported riding were fun, recreation, and freedom. These things can be experienced without high speeds and dangerous curves.
  2. Women are less ego-driven and therefore, more open to training to ride a motorcycle. As a result, they tend to be better educated and better riders. They are also generally younger. The median age for a woman rider is 30, versus 48 for a man. Over 60% of male riders are married while less than 50% of female riders are married.
  3. More women riders have a college or professional degree. While this doesn’t in and of itself make them better riders, it does indicate a higher interest in learning about riding. One study showed about 60% of women took part in motorcycle safety courses while only 40% of men did.
  4. Women tend to buy bigger, heavier motorcycles. Lighter bikes like sports bikes carry a higher risk of fatal or critical injury accidents. (Not all studies agree in this area). Only about 10% of women choose a sports bike. While it makes sense that smaller, light bikes might work better for females, the studies suggest women prefer larger bikes, although it’s unknown exactly why, whether it’s that they are lower, perceived as less intimidating, styling, or features such as more comfortable seats, etc.

So, sorry to break it to the guys, women are safer riders, tend to be in far fewer accidents, and tend to get hurt less than men when they do crash, due to their training, education, and safer riding habits. And all of this information is consistent with what we have seen over the last 32 years of handling accident cases at Legal Ride.

Also sorry, not going to post any pictures of injured female genitalia 🙂 to match the pictures from the boy’s post.

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