Rollovers, Seat Belt Misuse Key Factors in Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries

Studies of spinal cord injuries suffered in car accidents have identified several key factors. Improper seat belt use, rollovers, and vehicles with a higher center of gravity all increase the risk that someone in the vehicle will suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury during an accident.

A study published in the journal Accident: Analysis and Prevention found that 70 percent of spinal cord injuries suffered in car accidents occurred during a rollover accident. Thirty-nine percent of those injured in these accidents suffered spinal cord damage when they were involved in a vehicle ejection. Only 25 percent of spinal cord injury survivors were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Seat belt use is the key to preventing spinal cord damage in car crashes, but using seat belts properly is just as important. A 2011 study in the World Journal of Pediatrics found that spinal cord injuries were reduced when vehicle occupants wore seat belts with shoulder harnesses, instead of wearing a seat belt across their laps only. The study also found that people who relied solely on the airbag, instead of both the airbag and seat belt, were more likely to suffer damage to the cervical spine – the type of damage that can cause permanent paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries are just one of the types of catastrophic injuries a severe car accident can cause. If you or someone you care for has suffered such devastating injuries, the skilled San Diego spinal cord injury accident attorneys can help. To discuss your situation with us, contact us today.