Common Causes and Types of Road Accident Injuries

Every year, around 1.25 million people die from road accident injuries, and 20-50 million more are injured, many with long-term disabilities. These accidents cause huge financial losses for people, their families, and countries. In this discussion, we will explain the common types and causes of road injuries to help prevent them.

Common Types of Road Accident Injuries

Every road accident injury is unique in some way but there are some which are more common. Below are the simple classifications of road injuries to assist you in gaining comprehension.

Back Injuries

The most common effect of road accidents is back injuries. Injury to the spinal cord can cause severe injury to the nerves and results in the impairment of the sensations and movements in different parts of the body. Severe spinal injuries may lead to paralysis. A common back injury is a herniated disk, which can cause:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Arms or leg pain
  • Muscle weakness

Head Injuries

Some of the worst consequences of car accidents are head injuries. In high-speed crashes, drivers and passengers can hit their heads on steering wheels, dashboards, or windows, leading to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Comas
  • Long-term cognitive issues
  • Mild concussions

These injuries can also lead to head injuries such as fractures of the skull, impaired hearing, and loss of vision. In most cases, they call for surgery and these take a lot of money and a long time to heal.

Neck Injuries

Whiplash is a familiar type of road accident injury, usually as a result of a rear-end collision. This injury affects the neck muscles and ligaments, which causes pain and inflammation.

Chest Injuries

The common injuries that occur to the chest as a result of auto accidents include fractures of ribs and punctured lungs. Patients with heart problems can sometimes suffer sudden cardiac arrest. This can cause internal bleeding and injury to internal organs including the organs located in the pelvis, chest, and abdomen, and thus needs urgent medical attention.

Other Road Accident Injuries

Those who use motorcycles or are motorcycle passengers are likely to be badly injured during an accident and need operations for complicated injuries like a torn ligament, a broken bone like an ACL or even losing an arm or leg. Drivers and passengers of automobiles are much safer when compared to motorcycle riders, and this biking fatality rate is very high.

Pain and Suffering

Apart from physical harm, road accidents cause loss and damage in the form of pain and suffering. The consequences can still be present as constant pain, depression, anxiety, and a lower quality of life.

Symptoms of pain and suffering can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in appetite
  • Irritability
  • Relationship issues

Such effects are often emotional and psychological – they persist for months or even years and can alter the victim’s life.

Causes of Road Injuries

Road injuries happen for various reasons involving the road user, the vehicle, the road itself, and the surroundings. Some main causes of road injuries are:

  • Human error: The most common factors that affect vehicular accidents are mistakes on the road, which are responsible for more than 90% of accidents. It causes about 1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries every year.
  • Driving under the influence: Road traffic accidents, which are responsible for the death of 1.3 million people every year, have been identified to involve alcohol consumption in about 20% of cases in affluent countries. 
  • Not using safety gear: The vehicle’s protective gear including helmets, seat belts, and child restraints reduce the chances of getting involved in an accident by 40-80%. However, just 57% of the countries have laws that make it compulsory to use all these safety wears for every road user. Failure to use these gadgets is a cause of approximately 50% of road deaths.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed causes road accidents because it decreases the reaction time and the distance needed to bring the car to a halt. It also increases the impact of collisions and the chances of losing control over the vehicle. 
  • Distracted driving: The study shows that drivers making a call by a mobile phone are four times more likely to have an accident than non-users of a mobile phone. Also, the chances of injuries are equal whether the driver is using a hands-free or handheld phone.

Many of these causes arise from carelessness or failure to observe specific precautions and measures. However, there are also ways that can help to minimize the probability of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. One can observe preventive safety measures like the use of seat belts and ensuring that the driver’s attention is on the road and not distracted.