Car accident injuries can range from minor bruises and neck aches to catastrophic injuries such as brain damage. The type of injury, as well as its location and severity, is generally determined by the location and severity of the impact.
However, one of the most common collision injuries occurs as a result of the victim’s location and position: the pelvic fracture.
Position + Force = Broken Pelvis
Pelvic fractures occur as a result of excessive force being placed on the hips, pubis, or any surrounding area of the pelvis. The force essentially crushes the bone, causing severe pain and limited mobility to the victim.
When a car collides with another vehicle or structure, the impact force travels and disperses through the car’s frame. Although this dissipation allows the force to be absorbed, it’s also what puts the driver and passenger at risk for pelvic fractures.
In an automobile, the driver’s and passenger’s seats are positioned directly above the cross-section of the car’s frame. This means that when you sit in either of these seats, your pelvis is positioned directly above where the majority of the destructive impact force will be released. Not only does this cause violent and potentially bone-shattering vibrations, but three other collision factors also increase your vulnerability during impact. These are:
Unless you’re riding in an SUV, most car seats are placed at a height level with the car’s bumper—as well as the majority of other cars’ bumpers. This means that when another car collides into your vehicle, its bumper will be at the exact level as your seated and already contorted pelvis. In addition, if the collision causes your car to be pushed into another object, your pelvis will get the added force of your own bumper impact as well.
Although seat belts are essential for keep you from flying forward in a collision, the nature of the restraint can also add agonizing pressure to your pelvis, causing it to snap. Belts are designed to strap over your pelvis and chest in order to securely prevent the force of a collision from throwing you forward. However, even when the belt restrains you, the force that wants to throw you is still present. Therefore, you’ll still be pushed into the belt with the same amount of force that could pick you up and throw you. As a result of this force, wherever the belt has contact is at risk for painful bruising and fractures.
Note: your ribcage and abdomen are not strong enough to withstand the force of an impact. This is why, despite the risks for a pelvic fracture, belts should always be positioned correctly over the pelvis with the shoulder strap placed across the chest and collarbone
The majority of pelvic trauma is sustained as a result of debris being forced toward the pelvic area during a collision. Some forms of “debris” include…
- Airbags. Airbags deploy with enough force to crack and crush bone.
- Compromised engine. It’s possible that during a severe head-on collision, the engine, dashboard, and the entire front of your car could be pushed into the cab, crushing your legs and pelvis.
- Dashboard and steering wheel. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, the force of an impact can drive whatever is in front of you closer to you at deadly speeds. A steering wheel can sucker-punch you or objects and pieces of the dashboard could fly toward you. Passengers who place their feet on the dashboard could drastically increase not only their odds of pelvic trauma, but also spinal, leg, and facial fractures as well.
Better Safety for a Serious Problem
Considering the potential risks and pain involved, do you think that cars should have better safety options to prevent pelvic trauma? Do you feel that you and your family are safe enough now that you know your risks? Or do you think you deserve more?
For more information on navigating a Texas auto accident case, consider downloading our free ebook, 20 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Car Wreck Case.
If you have more questions regarding your injury, contact a car accident lawyer today.