In 2019 alone, statistics revealed that there were an estimated 230 million licensed drivers in our country. With so many people driving a wide array of motor vehicles on the road, car crashes are bound to happen, and some of them are very serious and deadly.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 2020 report suggests that the average motor vehicle weighs 4,156 pounds. Larger-than-average vehicles are even heavier, and when coupled with high speeds, are essentially the equivalent of a deadly weapon. As a result, car accidents tend to cause a lot of damage, both property damage and bodily injury, and in worst-case scenarios, fatalities.
Continue reading to learn the common kinds of auto accident injuries, what causes them, and how to verify your eligibility to pursue legal action against a wrongful driver or automaker.
Typical Causes of Traffic Accidents and Fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in the year 2018, more than 2.7 million car crashes occurred, 36,000 of which resulted in a fatality. This devastating statistic shows how real the risks are when it comes to accidents involving motor vehicles. The most common causes of car accidents include reckless driving, distracted driving, intoxicated driving, and speeding.
Distracted driving is a serious cause of motor vehicle accidents and car crashes in the United States, and even all across the world. Common examples include texting, making phone calls, changing the GPS settings, applying makeup, looking through briefcases/purses, grabbing items from the backseat, and similar behaviors that take drivers’ eyes off the road for more than a second. Fatigued driving is another common type of distracted driving but may also be categorized as reckless driving depending on the circumstances.
Reckless driving is considered a more serious offense because it is typically a conscious choice. Those who drive recklessly are generally aware that their behavior is reckless or negligent. Common examples of reckless driving include speeding, running red lights, changing lanes abruptly without using signals, cutting off other drivers, driving with no hands on the steering wheel, driving at night without headlights on, tailing other cars, driving over sidewalks, ignoring traffic signs and signals, and similar careless behaviors.
Intoxicated driving is illegal and can lead to both criminal and civil penalties. Furthermore, intoxicated driving refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or controlled substances. Drunk drivers have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, and hallucinogens is also considered intoxicated driving. Controlled substances are OTC and prescribed medications like prescription pain killers, sleeping pills, anxiety medications, and similar medicines that cause drowsiness and/or inebriation.
Speeding can also be considered a form of reckless driving. It is a top cause of serious car accidents and fatalities. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that 26% of the total traffic fatalities occurring in 2018 involved speeding. Speed limits are set because they are the safest speed to operate a vehicle while remaining in full control. At higher speeds, driver control is significantly reduced, which can lead to serious auto collisions.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
Although every motor vehicle collision is different, most car crashes tend to result in the similar of injuries. The most common auto accident injuries include whiplash, as well as injuries to the head, chest, arms, and legs.
Whiplash is by far the most common resulting car accident injury. Collisions tend to cause the neck and head to whip forward and backward and side to side very quickly. The severity of whiplash can vary on a spectrum from minor injuries, like stiffness or soreness of the neck and headache, to more serious and concerning injuries, like significant neck pain, permanent neck pain, dizziness, tinnitus, migraines, loss of vision, back pain, and neck injuries.
Head injuries are unfortunately common when it comes to serious car accidents. Head injuries can range from minor to major. Minor head injuries caused by car accidents may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivities, although these can be more serious depending on how long the symptoms last. More serious car accident head injuries include concussion, loss of consciousness, traumatic brain injuries, impaired thinking, loss of movement control, and loss of sensations.
Injuries to the chest, arms, and legs are another common result of auto accidents. Chests are often impacted by air bag deployment, which can lead to minor injuries like burns, bruises, or soreness, again, depending on how long the symptoms last. Chests of drivers and passengers can also be injured by blunt force trauma from an impact with another vehicle or structure. More serious chest injuries include broken ribs, lung punctures, organ ruptures, and other internal injuries or bleeding. Arms and legs can be severely burned, maimed, disfigured, or severed in serious car crashes. Orthopedic injuries, like shoulder and pelvic injuries, are also common in car accidents.
Are you a victim of a reckless or negligent car accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also represent injured persons throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.