Those involved in a motor vehicle accident may experience temporary or permanent injuries following the crash. Regrettably, injuries to the central nervous system can result in paralysis, affecting the person’s ability to move their body freely.
According to the United Spinal Association, 39.3% of Americans who acquire a spinal cord injury sustained this harm due to a car accident.
Collisions resulting in paralysis
The impact of a rear-end or other high-speed collision can cause those in the car to shake around violently. This sudden, harsh movement may cause spinal fractures and spinal cord damage. Additionally, in rollover accidents, the vehicle’s roof may crush the occupants and lead to neck or back trauma.
If a large truck or other commercial vehicle collides with a smaller car, those involved may suffer significant injuries, including paralysis.
Types of paralysis
Motor vehicle accidents may cause various levels of paralysis. Monoplegia affects only one limb and often occurs due to nerve damage above the paralyzed limb. Hemiplegia is paralysis on one side of the victim’s body. Diplegia usually occurs because of spinal cord damage, and the injured person loses sensation in either both arms or both legs.
Paraplegia entails paralysis of the lower half of the body, and quadriplegia is the paralysis of most of the body.
Avoiding spinal injuries
Motorists can take the following proactive steps to reduce the risk of a spinal cord injury from a motor vehicle crash:
- Wearing a well-fitted seatbelt.
- Ensuring airbags function.
- Securing children in appropriate booster chairs or car seats.
People involved in motor vehicle accidents should seek immediate medical attention to care for their injuries as soon as possible.