Women have a higher risk of serious injury in a car accident than men, a new study reports.
Researchers said that's because vehicle safety equipment isn't made for women's bodies, which tend to be lighter and shorter than men's bodies.
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that women are 47 percent more likely to suffer a serious injury from a car accident than men are.
"To address the sex-specific disparity demonstrated in this study, health policies and vehicle regulations must focus on effective safety designs specifically tailored toward the female population for equity in injury reduction," the University of Virginia researchers wrote in the study.
However, ABC News reported that the findings probably don't apply to cars made today, since researchers only looked at car crashes between 1998 and 2008, and some of those cars were likely made before 1998.
"The average life of a car is around 12 years," Clarence Ditlow, of the Center for Auto Safety, told ABC News. "The study would have a lot more value if it were limited to 2000 and later model year vehicles to make sure all vehicles had female friendly airbags."
However, a 2007 study published by Carnegie Mellon University researchers show that men are more likely to actually die in a car accident, with men 77 percent more likely to be in a fatal car accident than women (when factoring in the number of miles driven), MSNBC reported.
As for which sex is actually safer behind the wheel -- research has shown results batting for both sides of the debate. AOL's Autoblog reported on a study that showed that women are more likely than men to be involved in accidents with T junctions, slip roads (a road connection to another road) and crossroads. But the 2007 Carnegie Mellon study shows that elderly women are safer drivers than teen boys, MSNBC reported.