Every day, pedestrians share the road with vehicles of all sizes, and unfortunately, accidents can and do happen involving both kinds of travelers. Pedestrian-car collisions can result in a wide array of injuries ranging from minor bruises to life-threatening conditions.
The severity of these injuries often depends on the vehicle’s speed, the point of impact and the pedestrian’s health. These are the three most common injuries that pedestrians sustain during car crashes.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries pedestrians sustain during car crashes. These injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons. The force of impact from a vehicle can cause significant trauma to a pedestrian’s soft tissues. The most common soft tissue injuries are contusions, commonly known as bruises. Contusions result from the blunt force of the collision. They may seem minor but can hide underlying damage. Another common soft tissue injury is whiplash. Although often associated with car occupants, pedestrians can also experience whiplash when struck by a vehicle.
Fractures and broken bones
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to bone fractures during car accidents due to the direct impact of the vehicle. These fractures can range from minor hairline fractures to complex compound fractures. Pedestrians often suffer from leg fractures, especially the tibia and fibula. These fractures require immediate medical attention and may involve surgery. High-impact collisions can also result in hip fractures, which are serious and can lead to long-term mobility issues. Additionally, when pedestrians use their arms to help protect themselves during a crash, they may experience fractures in the arms, hands or wrists.
Head and brain injuries
Head injuries are a significant concern in pedestrian-car collisions, as the head is vulnerable to impact. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are particularly problematic due to their potential long-term effects. Mild TBIs, or concussions, can occur when the head strikes the vehicle or the ground. Symptoms may include confusion, memory issues and headaches. More severe TBIs can result in brain contusions, which are bruised areas of the brain tissue. These can lead to cognitive and physical impairments. In high-impact crashes, pedestrians may experience skull fractures, often requiring surgery and intensive medical care.
Pedestrian safety is the responsibility of pedestrians and drivers alike. By understanding the common injuries pedestrians sustain during car crashes (and the costs associated with their short-term and long-term care), victims can more effectively pursue the full value of compensation they deserve.