Washington, Jan 23 : If a new study were to be believed, female drivers would be safer in an accident than their male counterparts because of the fact that females have a thicker skull than men.
Published in the Inderscience International Journal of Vehicle Safety, this study was conducted by Jesse Ruan of the Ford Motor Company and colleagues at Tianjin University of Science and Technology.
Based on head scan images of 3000 patients at the Tianjin Fourth central Hospital, the study used a non-invasive method for determining and analyzing the critical geometric characteristics of a person's skull.
The researchers found that the average thickness of the skull in men was 6.5 millimeters, but 7.1 mm in women. The average front to back measurement for men was 176 mm in men, but was less in women at 171-mm. Average width was 145 mm in men and 140 mm in women.
Skull thickness, as one might expect, improves the outcome for anyone suffering a head injury.
"Skull thickness differences between genders are confirmed in our study," said Ruan. "The next step will be to find out how these differences translate into head impact response of male and female, and then we can design the countermeasure for head protection," he added.
In fact, according to researchers, the detailed results could help in the design of more effective devices for protecting the head in vehicle collisions and other accidents.
"Reliable biomechanical geometric data of the human skull can help us to better understand the problem of head injury during an impact and help in the design of better head protective devices," the researchers said.