Vehicle Ejections in Accidents
An occupant ejection is one of the most tragic events of a car accident. Being ejected from a vehicle often leads to severe or fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), occupants thrown from a car during a crash are three times more likely to die than those restrained inside the vehicle.
Even if someone survives a car ejection, they may suffer life-long health complications such as the following:
- traumatic brain injuries
- bone fractures
- spinal cord injuries
- soft tissue injuries
- internal injuries
Common Causes of Car Ejections
Several components may cause an occupant to be ejected from the vehicle during an accident. Some common causes of a potential vehicle ejection include defective seat belts, faulty door latches, rollover accidents, and non-laminated glass.
Defective Seat Belts
The NHTSA reports that seat belts with shoulder harnesses are the most effective safety equipment in preventing vehicle ejections. Research shows that using a seatbelt can reduce a vehicle occupant’s chance of being ejected by 45 percent.
But while seat belts are life-saving safety measures, they are useless they are defective. Seatbelt failure is the main cause of occupant ejection accidents in the United States. Many defects can cause a seat belt to fail during a traffic collision, including false latching, excessive slacking, and tearing lap belts.
Faulty Door Latches
In most situations, the car door was not closed all the way, or the door latch was faulty and opened upon impact. A defective car door latch affects a vehicle’s crashworthiness, which is its ability to sustain a crash and protect its occupants upon impact.
According to NHTSA, a faulty door latch significantly contributes to vehicle occupant ejection, especially in rollover crashes. In its 2003 study, 1,660 people were killed, and 1,970 were seriously injured by ejections through faulty doors.
If a vehicle rolls over due to a crash, the risk of an occupant being ejected is high. According to recent statistics, about 57 percent of the occupants killed in rollover crashes were ejected. During a rollover crash, the vehicle repeatedly flips as it tumbles, causing damage to the car.
While vehicles are designed to handle these impacts, they offer little protection if restraint systems like door latches or seat belts allow occupants to be ejected. Statistically, larger vehicles like SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks are more prone to rollover accidents than smaller cars.
Non-laminated window glass can shatter into tiny pieces, creating an opening where occupants can be ejected. A laminated window does not break and acts as a barrier to ejection.
While laminated side window glass was introduced in the 1960s, it did not gain widespread use until the mid-2000s. This means many older vehicles are not equipped with this life-saving technology. The NHTSA reports 7800 vehicle occupants are killed yearly after being ejected through side windows.
Pursuing a Claim for Your Injuries
If you have been injured because of a defective auto product, you may be able to file an injury claim against the liable party. However, product liability claims can be complex. It is essential to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Sacramento Auto Products Liability Lawyer for help with obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Watch the YouTube video to learn how to choose the right accident lawyer for your personal injury case.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a car accident attorney in Sacramento. If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident that resulted in an ejection, the injuries and damages you are facing are likely significant. You can pursue a compensation claim for damages against the liable party. If your loved one has died from the accident, you may have a cause of action for a wrongful death claim.
Call our experienced legal team at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. Our injury lawyers are available anytime to discuss your potential options for financial recovery in a free no-obligation consultation.
Our law firm has served Sacramento and Northern California residents since 1982. See our history of successful case results on our Settlements and Verdicts page.
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