The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number of people injured yearly in vehicle accidents throughout the United States totals over three million individuals. While the circumstances and causes of each accident vary widely, so do the different types of sustained injuries. Statistics reveal that certain injuries show up more often than others.
Some accident injuries resolve themselves in a short period of time without any medical intervention at all. Other more serious types, however, can lead to permanent physical disability or disfigurement. Among the many possibilities that can contribute to the severity of vehicle accident injuries, the following are some of the more common:
- Was the vehicle hit from the front, side or rear?
- Were seat belts in use?
- Was the individual facing forward upon impact; or was the body or head turned in a different position?
- Did the collision occur at low or high speed?
- Were the vehicles equipped with airbags, and did they inflate?
Two categories are used to describe auto accident injuries: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. When an individual’s body hits something in the interior of the vehicle, like the dashboard, this is termed an impact injury. Penetrating injuries occur when the skin is broken, as in scrapes and cuts. Shattered glass or loose items flying around inside the vehicle upon impact can produce this penetrating type of injury.