We often use this space to warn consumers about the dangers of driving and riding in cars, SUVs, and trucks. In the past, we’ve posted articles about car crashes, recalls, weather, highway conditions, and safety features. All of these topics have one thing in common – they assume that you are in the process of driving your car when an injury occurs. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), however, a significant number of injuries occur when vehicles are not in traffic.
The statistics are surprising. Over 1,700 people are killed each year by vehicles not in traffic, and an astonishing 840,000 more are injured (including non-impact injuries such as burns and electrocutions). Here are the most common injuries:
- Radiator burns
- Being struck by an object inside the vehicle that was not properly secured
- Falling against or out of the vehicle
- Being struck by the door while entering or exiting the vehicle
- Sprains and strains
- Cuts from the exterior or interior of the vehicle
- “Back-over” incidents involving the vehicle’s blind spots
- Other types of falls
- Overexertion while loading/unloading or attempting to move a vehicle
- Closing the door on one’s hand
The moral of this story is clear: Just because the car isn’t moving, don’t assume you’re safe. Be sure to exercise caution around vehicles at all times. Remember, these massive machines can do a lot of damage even when you least expect it.