What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

Auto accidents rank among the leading causes of death and injury in the United States.  However, studies have shown that typical injuries resulting from car accidents vary widely depending on factors like age, gender, and type of accident.  If you were seriously injured in a car accident in Arizona, personal injury lawyer Jerrold Mayro may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries.

DOT Reports on 2013 Arizona Car Accident Statistics

A report titled “2013 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for the State of Arizona” compiled by the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) reports the following statistics:

  • Total crashes – 107,348
    • Crashes resulting in property damage only – 72,524
    • Crashes resulting in injury – 34,047
    • Fatal crashes – 777

If you were to distribute these numbers evenly across the course of the year, you would find an average of about 8,945 accidents per month, or almost 300 accidents each day.

The majority of fatal crashes (472 accidents) involved multiple vehicles, while approximately one third of fatal accidents (245) were alcohol-related.

The study also found that some types of vehicles were more statistically likely to be involved in auto accidents, as the following numbers demonstrate:

As these statistics make amply clear, automotive accidents are all too common in the state of Arizona.  While fatal crashes were relatively rare, comprising only about 0.72% of all crashes reported in 2013, a much larger portion of accidents resulted in injuries: an alarming 31.72%, or about one in three people.  Breaking these numbers down even further, approximately 8.56% of injuries (4,305) were classified as “incapacitating.”  Among accident types, collisions with other motor vehicles in transport were most likely to result in injury (19,148 injuries) while vehicle fire/explosion collisions resulted in the fewest injuries (10).

As we’ll discuss in the next section, numerous studies have investigated the types of injuries most commonly caused by a variety of automotive accidents among varying populations.  Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses such as surgeries, hospital visits, lab tests, casts and splints, wheelchairs, back braces, neck braces, and other medical devices and procedures.

Car Accident Crash

Common Injuries by Demographic and Auto Accident Type

The type of injuries which are sustained depend largely on the type of accident.

Rollover accidents, which are especially common among 15-passenger vans, occur when a vehicle turns onto its side or roof.  One study (“Characteristic Pattern of Injuries in Roll Over Car Crashes”) published in The Bone & Joint Journal, which examined data taken from 88 crashes involving 155 occupants from 1997 to 2002, found that rollover accidents most commonly resulted in injuries to the:

  • Head and Neck – 60% (93 injuries)
    • Traumatic brain injuries was the main cause of  death, accounting for nearly 55% of all deaths examined in the study.
  • Upper Limbs – 47% (73 injuries)
  • Lower Limbs – 34% (53 injuries)
  • Thorax – 23.8% (37 injuries)
  • Abdomen – 15.4% (24 injuries)

The same study also noted that most vehicle occupants sustained more than one injury, and found that “young male drivers” were more likely to be injured or killed.

European study (“Motor-Vehicle Injury Patterns in Emergency-Department Patients in a South-European Urban Setting”) published in Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine in 2000 found that “Neck sprain (33%) was the most common injury among car occupants.”  “Multiple contusion and contusion of lower limbs” was most common among:

  • Two-wheeled motor vehicles, such as motorcycles (23.5% and 14% respectively)
  • Pedestrians (17.3% and 14.4% respectively)

By comparison, cyclists were most likely to sustain upper limb fractures (20%).

The European study also found that “young people” were the most affected traffic victims.

Injuries among children may be worse than those noted among adults.  According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Head injuries were the most common injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes.” Children under one year old were at the highest incident rates for head injuries, thoracic injuries, spine injuries, and rib fractures. For a detailed analysis, refer to the full NHTSA report (“Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes”).

In addition to age and gender, weight may also have an impact on the likelihood of sustaining death or injury.  A study (“Driver Obesity and the Risk of Fatal Injury During Traffic Collisions”) published in Emergency Medicine Journal, suggests vehicle drivers who are obese are more likely to die in the same collision than non-obese occupants.   The study found that obese motorists were up to 78% more likely to be killed in a car crash than drivers of normal weight.

If you were in a car crash in Arizona, or if one of your loved ones was a victim of wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, and other losses.  To start discussing your accident in a free and completely private legal consultation, call car accident lawyer Jerrold Mayro right away at (602) 604-8400.  You will not be charged any fees for your consultation.