Injuries that are more common after a truck accident can vary from the circumstances of each collision, but there is one type in particular that many people experience. These injuries include whiplash to soft tissue damage and head trauma as well as broken bones or lacerations, for example — all resulting in different degrees of severity depending on what sort of injury you’re experiencing.
Why trucking accidents are serious
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three million people injure themselves every year across America through vehicle accidents, with some even suffering significant bodily harm. Broken bones or a severe concussion, among other dangers, such as spinal cord injuries, often occurring when an individual has been thrown out of their seat belt’s safety zone.
In general terms, trucks weigh about twice as much as passenger cars, so it’s no surprise that heavy-duty tractor-trailers can cause catastrophic results when two collide. At the same time, compact automobiles may sustain little to no injury from even severe crashes resulting from such high-speed impact forces. The difference between weight alone is enough to create horrific consequences, including death and serious injuries or bodily harm without any other factors being involved whatsoever.
Commercial truck accident statistics
In the U.S., truck accidents are responsible for 5,000 deaths and 200,000 injuries each year with a cost of $1 billion in property damage annually – but these numbers don’t paint an accurate picture because they only take into account car-truck collisions wherein someone died or was injured.
Commercial truck accidents are on the rise, and it’s not just because there are more gas-powered commercial trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that these incidents have increased by 6% from 2016 to 2017 alone despite a decrease in miles traveled.
One contributing factor is increased distracted driving or driver fatigue due to long hours spent behind the wheel without sufficient sleep. Some recent studies point out how new technologies such as Apple CarPlay may be increasing this risk even further for those who use their phone while operating a vehicle.
In the United States, there are approximately 3.5 million truck accidents per year and more than four thousand fatalities due to these crashes. However, only a tiny percentage of all car-related deaths in America is about 1%.
Even though tractor-trailers cause minor total damage annually (compared to other vehicles), they have two times as many fatal injuries because their weight makes it difficult for them to stop promptly if another car suddenly changes lanes or stops abruptly ahead of them. This means that improper lane changes can easily lead up fatality rates from 4% at worst-case scenarios up by 20%, which shows how important paying attention while driving around large trucks becomes when you’re not even piloting one yourself.
What are the most common types of truck accident injuries?
Listed below, the most common injuries people sustain in truck accidents include paralysis or amputation, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury from a broken neck or back fracture.
Soft tissue injuries
When a person is thrown about or ejected from the vehicle in an accident, they can suffer sprains and strains. They could also end up being hit by loose cargo that causes their soft tissue to be torn.
It’s not unusual for a person to suffer from broken bones in the aftermath of a trucking accident. The most common types are fractures and breaks, which can happen anywhere: arms, legs, ankles, feet – even ribs. A compound fracture is where one bone pierces another or when there is damage to two different parts of the same bone; these cases may require surgery and hospitalization time too long.
Driving a truck is one of the more dangerous jobs. Large tanker trucks may carry flammable cargo that makes them susceptible to explosions and fires in collisions with other vehicles, which can leave many people suffering from burns if they come into contact with steam or hot water when it escapes from a ruptured radiator or sheared metal body parts. These are very serious third-degree and fourth-degree burn-type injuries.
The force of a truck crash can cause an individual’s head and neck to snap forward, then back again. This “whiplash” motion may strain the muscles in your neck as well as joints or ligaments you didn’t even know existed. Usually, this pain goes away after a few weeks, but some people develop chronic whiplash-related symptoms that linger for much more extended periods. If not treated properly with medications, like muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs, they could help reduce the inflammation caused by overstretched tendons.
Head and traumatic brain injury
After a serious truck crash, it takes more than just time to heal. It can be an invisible injury that’s difficult for others and even the person themselves to detect because they may not know what TBI is or how significant brain damage might affect them long-term. A person who sustains severe brain injury may need long-term medical care and experience permanent cognitive impairment.
A blow to the back or sudden awkward movement in a truck crash can break your spine, leaving you with ongoing pain and loss of mobility. Damage to the spinal cord leaves people paralyzed from their injuries, which is irreversible for some.
A bump on your car ride home could leave you crippled forever if it breaks any vertebrae or tears through your spinal cord.
In the event of a severe collision, people may lose their arms or legs and hands. In some cases, this can save them from further pain because they are badly injured in an accident with large pieces of metal that rip through the skin. Sometimes these limbs have been so crushed in the incident doctors must cut off damaged extremities without any anesthesia, just like during wartime surgery out on battlefields where the only time was available for treatment before death took over due to blood loss.
In rare situations involving severe accidents such as truck collisions that injure someone severely enough, amputation may need to occur.
Losing your limbs in a truck accident is scary but not uncommon. When you’re crushed or burned by the impact of an 18-wheeler’s crash, it can be hard to escape with all ten fingers and toes intact.
The force of a truck accident can wreak havoc on internal organs like the heart, liver, stomach, and other vital areas. A fractured rib or sternum (the chest bone) may cause pieces to tear into delicate tissues and make them bleed internally. Ruptured organs and bleeding are typically treated with surgery, but they may also lead to shock or infection, proving fatal if not controlled quickly enough.