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Study: Weather Affects Male And Female Drivers Differently

A Purdue study shows Indiana drivers may be differently susceptible to road conditions when it comes to their accident rate.

"Women are not necessarily very good in wet roads. They have very high probability of being severely injured, and young men are more likely to be severely injured on dry pavements," says civil engineering professor Fred Mannering, who conducted the research.

Researchers found Hoosier men 45 and older have a higher risk when driving on snow and ice, while women are statistically in more danger driving on rain-slick highways.

Among the findings:

Men younger than 45 showed a 21 percent higher likelihood of severe injury while driving on dry roads than on wet roads, and a 72 percent higher likelihood of severe injury while driving on snowy and icy roads.

Older men driving driving pickup trucks were 81 percent more likely to be injured on snow and icy surfaces than men in the same age group driving other vehicles.

Women 45 and older were more than four times more likely to be severely injured on wet road surfaces. Younger women were nearly three times more likely. Older women also had a 44 percent higher chance of being severely injured on rain-slick interstate highways compared to other roads.

The findings were compiled from more than 23,000 Indiana police crash reports from 2007 and 2008  and are published in the September issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

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