High speed auto collisions frequently cause fatal injuries. Approximately 40,000 people die in auto crashes in the US each year. The most common fatal injuries are:
- Head and brain injuries: A severe blow to the head can cause a skull fracture and fatal brain injury. Some accidents may involve severe head trauma that does not kill immediately, but brain swelling often can be fatal in the days after the crash.
- Neck injuries: A crash with enough force at the wrong angle can cause the head and neck to whip with enough force to break the neck and spinal cord. This is usually fatal.
- Chest injuries: In many head on crashes, the chest can be crushed by the immense force when it strikes the dashboard or steering column, even if the airbag inflates. This can cause severe bleeding and organ damage that can be fatal.
- Burn injuries: Many rear-end crashes lead to a fuel tank rupture and fire that can cause fatal burns.
Not every car accident fatality is immediate. A person could be hospitalized for days or weeks with a head or neck injury or severe burns. Delayed fatalities after a serious accident can be devastating for the family as they must watch their loved one suffer.