When thinking of car-related injuries, many of us imagine the sorts of injuries common in many car accidents: burn injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and others. While these sorts of accident injuries are common, research studies show that some lesser-known injuries also pose a risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a report about car-related injuries, and it appears that the most common injury usually occurs when the car is not even moving. Last year, 150 000 people injured themselves by closing a car door, making this the most common injury associated with cars. According to the report, another 10 000 people are seriously injured each year by using a hoist such as a jack to raise a car in order to do work on the vehicle. 74 000 people each year are injured by a falling car part or vehicle.
Researchers for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admit that the findings may be surprising to some, since they show that cars are not only a possible risk on the road. The study researchers found that 841 000 injuries and 1747 deaths occurred from non-crash accidents and non-traffic crashes. Instances where people back up and cause injury or are involved in a single-vehicle accident on an area other than a national highway are considered non-traffic crashes. According to researchers, another 88 000 injuries occur each year from people pushing a non-performing vehicle or loading and unloading cargo from their cars or trucks.
Accidents involving pedestrians also accounted for about one third of injuries reported. Backing up over a pedestrian accounted for 14% of these injuries, with children as the most frequent victims. Another 37 car-related deaths each year occurred from hyperthermia, whereby a victim in a car was exposed to the elements. According to the Children’s Safety Center at Doernbecher, the majority of car-related non-crash incidents involving pedestrians cause injuries to children. In the majority of cases, these children suffer serious or fatal injuries because of their small size.
According to the Children’s Safety Center at Doernbecher, the majority of such accidents involving cars and pedestrians are very preventable. Daily rituals can help ensure that children are not left in the car to suffer extreme temperatures while cameras that can be optionally installed on the backs of cars can give drivers a very clear view of where they are reversing. Many of these cameras cost less than one hundred dollars.
Many non-accident car-related injuries can be prevented with a little extra common sense and a little extra focus. Knowing your car and keeping your car in good condition can also help prevent many common injuries. About 9000 burn injuries each year are caused when car owners use antifreeze fluid or radiator fluid incorrectly. It is important to not open the valve to the radiator while the car is in operation or is just cooling down. Knowing to wait until the car is completed cool before checking radiator fluid levels can help prevent a common injury.