Vehicle fatalities are the most common cause of accidental death around the world. In the US alone, there are 30,000 deaths in car crashes each year. 

Are there inequalities in those figures? There are, and an epidemiology paper has found them. Seatbelts matter, as does having an airbag, but those are in almost all cars, but there is no explanation for why women die more. Or why young people die less. To most people, it's just data, it doesn't all have meaning. If you are in a car,  you are 17 times more likely to die in a crash compared to a driver of a light truck.  That will not make Geo Metro owners happy.

Uzay Kirbiyik, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the Indiana University, examined risk factors associated with drivers' survival in head-on vehicle collisions by examining Fatality Analysis Reporting System database records in 1,108 crashes. The driver's chance of survival was increased by driving a vehicle with a higher mass, driving a newer vehicle, being younger, being a male, using a seatbelt and having the airbag deployed in the crash.

There were more young people between the ages of 15 and 24 involved in head-on collisions than any other age group - 21 percent of the collisions - but the rate of death among that age group was 39 percent, the lowest among all age groups.

Presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in New Orleans. Source: Indiana University