Causes of Pelvic Fractures in Car Accidents

As you walk through your front door after work, your cell phone rings. You are surprised to see it is your husband, who is supposed to be home with the children. You answer it and immediately know something is wrong. Your husband is at the hospital and your little girl is in surgery.

On his way home after picking up the kids from practice, a truck rammed the passenger side of his car, right where your daughter was sitting. Your son was sitting behind your husband so he only suffered a small wrist fracture and some cuts. However, your baby girl wasn’t as lucky. From what your husband explained, she has a broken pelvis and possible rib fractures.

You immediately drop everything and run back to your car. As you speed toward the hospital you make mental notes to question the doctor and your husband about how this could have happened.

Pelvic Fracture Collision Factors

Pelvic fractures are an alarmingly common injury for car accident victims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that nearly 15% of collisions result in pelvic damage, and 25% of victims who die in traffic accidents are reported to have broken pelvises. Although 15% may not seem that high, the number of victims exceeds 800,000 adults and children a year, according to the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care.

The most common causes for these injuries are as follows:

  • Location of seat belts. Although seat belts are essential for driver and passenger safety and protection, they can also cause severe pelvic damage. Seat belts are specifically designed to restrain your pelvis and chest in order to prevent impact forces from throwing you forward. However, every action has an equal but opposite reaction, which can lead to painful outcomes. In this case the force that is exerted upon you during a crash is deflected by the belt, which regrettably must apply the same amount of force back. Since the opposite force has nowhere to go but where the belt is strapped, an enormous amount of pressure is placed on your pelvic region. This pressure is so great that it can actually crush, fracture and break the bone.
  • Pelvic seat location. When you are sitting in a car, on a motorcycle, or on a bike, your pelvis is positioned immediately above the vehicle’s axle. Unfortunately, when cars collide, the force of the impact is generally dispersed throughout this axle line. This means that the majority of the force will hit at the exact level of your pelvis, causing massive amounts of vibration, crushing pressure, and impact damage to shoot through your pelvis. To make matters worse, the damage is multiplied when your hips are twisted.
  • Front impact collisions. Head-on collisions put you at risk for multiple severe injuries, but they are especially hard on your pelvis. When you're seated in the front of a vehicle, your pelvis is surrounded by potentially hazardous materials. During a frontal collision, airbags can deploy at speeds rivaling a freight train, while the steering wheel and engine can also be forced directly toward your pelvis at horrendous speeds and force. These onslaughts can not only crush your pelvis but can also force you to turn defensively to avoid the impact which can twist and mangle your pelvis even more.

Standing Tall After a Collision

When you or a loved one suffers a pelvic fracture, treatment and recovery can be long and extremely painful. However, although you must suffer through the recovery, you don’t have to suffer the financial burden lying down. If you’re a victim of someone else’s vehicular mistake, contact us today to get the support you need to file an injury claim. You deserve compensation for your suffering; allow us to help you stand up and get it. Call 703-591-0067 now or schedule a free consultation here.

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