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What are the most common injuries to pedestrians struck by cars?

When a pedestrian is involved in a car accident, that person is at a high risk of serious injuries. What kinds of injuries are most common? A report from October 2011 looked into the injury patterns of those struck by vehicles overseas, so the U.S. government and traffic administrations can help prevent these injuries within the United States as well. According to the paper, there were several areas of the body most commonly injured after being hit by a vehicle.

Elderly people were highly represented in this report, but young pedestrians were most commonly injured. According to the data, the lower extremities were most commonly injured. Around 50 percent of the victims suffered some kind of trauma to the legs or feet. The head, neck, and face were the second most frequently injured parts of the body. Those injuries took place in around 38 percent of the pedestrians who were struck. The upper extremities were the least likely to be injured, with just 27 percent of the pedestrians who were struck suffering injuries in that area of the body.

Despite the injuries taking place less often, the most severe injuries were likely to be to the head or thorax. Those struck by the car suffered head injuries twice as often as thoracic injuries, though, potentially showing the higher risk of damage to the thoracic region when it is involved.

The study also found that higher-income countries with sidewalks, much like the United States has in some areas, had lower numbers of injuries, while areas with less pedestrian-friendly roadways had higher injury rates overall.

Source: The US National library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, "Pedestrian Injury Patterns According to Car and Casualty Characteristics in France," Jean-Louis Martin, MSc, Audrey Lardy, MSc, and Bernard Laumon, PhD, accessed June. 01, 2015

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