What Happens To Your Body in a Rollover?
Rollover crashes are among the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents. Not only do they have the highest fatality rates, they are also likely to cause severe injuries to survivors. Broken arms, concussions, organ damage, and spinal injury are common in rollover accidents. This is due in part to the extreme forces exerted on the body and often insufficient protection provided by the vehicle’s safety systems.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Frontal and side curtain airbags can protect against steering wheel impact, dash impact, and frame impact. However, in a rollover, the head can strike the roof of the vehicle, objects moving within the vehicle, etc. In 2012, it was established that just over 1 in 5 pure rollover crash survivors suffered a TBI.
Many individuals who suffer a TBI in a rollover also experience cervical spinal injury. Those at greatest risk are survivors who had less than 15 cm of clearance between their heads and the crushed roof. When a rollover occurs, the forces exerted on the spinal structures are significant. The faster the speed, the more rapid and pronounced the movement of the neck. While cervical spinal injury is the most common, rollovers can also cause other injuries.
This is often overlooked, and it is vital to receive a thorough medical evaluation following any rollover. The impact forces of the collision and the body pressing up against seat belts, steering wheels, etc., can damage organs. This can lead to internal bleeding, usually within the abdomen. Failure to promptly treat internal bleeding can be fatal. In fact, in terms of trauma mortality, 30-40% of fatalities are caused by untreated hemorrhaging, with between 1/3 and 1/2 of fatalities occurring prior to the individual reaching the hospital.
Arms, legs, and ribs are highly susceptible to fractures in a rollover. The risk of these injuries is severe if the individual is ejected from the vehicle. In such instances, those who survive often suffer multiple, compound fractures that often require surgical intervention. In any rollover, it is imperative to promptly identify and treat these, as a broken bone can cut arteries, puncture lungs, or cause critical organ injury.
If you suffer a spinal injury in a Colorado motor vehicle accident, the team at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. can help you pursue claims for compensation. We encourage you to contact us at (303) 447-1144 to discuss your options.
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