Seat belts could help prevent severe crash injuries

Drivers and passengers in West Virginia may be concerned with how they can reduce the risk of severe injury in case of a car accident. While wearing a seat belt may not prevent people from experiencing dangerous injuries to internal organs like the liver, it can help to lessen the severity of injury and the risk of a fatal outcome. Every year, around 2 million people across the country are taken to the emergency room as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash. The personal trauma of these accidents is significant as are the financial and social costs: Treatment for these injuries costs the healthcare system almost $1 trillion every year.

One of the most common and dangerous forms of injury in many car accidents is blunt abdominal trauma, often leading to organ damage. The spleen and liver are the most frequently affected organs, but the spleen can be removed if it is too heavily damaged. On the other hand, the liver is critical for a patient's life. In a study of over 50,000 accident victims with liver damage, 15 percent had severe liver injuries. Of those, 15 percent lost their lives as a result. On the other hand, 8 percent of the larger group of patients with only mild or moderate liver injuries died because of the crash damage.

The researchers found that people who wore seat belts were 21 percent less likely to have a severe liver injury. Airbags also helped to prevent this kind of damage as people protected by both were 26 percent less likely to suffer severe damage.

While people can take precautions to help save their lives or avert catastrophic injuries, many car accidents are caused by distracted, dangerous or negligent driving. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help people seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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