How much does the injury risk between average female and average male anthropometry differ?

Differences in injury risk between females and males are often reported in field data analysis. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in kinematics and injury risks between average female and male anthropometry in two exemplary use cases. A simulation study comprising the newly introduced VIVA+ human body models (HBM) was performed for two use cases. The first use case relates to whiplash associated disorders sustained in rear impacts and the second to femur fractures in pedestrians impacted by passenger cars as field data indicates that females have higher injury risk compared to males in these scenarios.

Detailed seat models and a generic vehicle exterior were used to simulate crash scenarios close to those currently tested in consumer information tests. In the evaluations with one of the vehicle seats and one car shape the injury risks were equal for both models. However, the risk of the average female HBM for whiplash associated disorders was 1.5 times higher compared to the average male HBM for the rear impacts in the other seat and 10 times higher for proximal femur fractures in the pedestrian impacts for one of the two evaluated vehicle shapes..

Further work is needed to fully understand trends observed in the field and to derive appropriate countermeasures, which can be performed with the open source tools introduced in the current study.


  • Simulations with Human Body Models (HBM) representing an average female (50F) and an average male (50M) anthropometry.
  • Up to 1.5 times higher risk for the 50F for whiplash associated disorders in one of the two evaluated seats.
  • Up to 10 times higher proximal femur fracture risk for one of the two evaluated vehicle shapes for the 50F.
  • Low level of injury risk for femur shaft fractures in pedestrian impact with up to 10 times higher risks for the 50M.
  • The average male anthropometry cannot capture the trends in injury risk observed for the average female anthropometry.

Corina Klug, David Bützer, Johan Iraeus, Jobin John, Arne Keller, Michal Kowalik, Christoph Leo, Ines Levallois, I. Putu A. Putra, Felix Ressi, Kai-Uwe Schmitt, Mats Svensson, Linus Trummler, Wim Wijnen, Astrid Linder, How much does the injury risk between average female and average male anthropometry differ? – A simulation study with open source tools for virtual crash safety assessments, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 193, 2023,

This study was conducted within the VIRTUAL project, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 768960.