Every year the number of cars on the roads of our country is growing rapidly, but the condition of the roads leaves much to be desired, as well as the behavior of most pedestrians and drivers. All this leads to frequent car accidents, which in 20% of cases end with death, serious injuries, and disability of the victims.  As a rule, in car accidents, the driver receives the most injuries, since the largest number of traumatic structural elements are concentrated in his place. Road traffic accident victims suffer the most serious and life-threatening injuries as a result of deformation of the body and internal structural elements of the vehicle, as well as from impacts of protruding parts of the passenger compartment. At the same time, wearing a seat belt reduces the likelihood of death by three times.

The correct provision of first aid can save the life of the victim or significantly alleviate his condition and the process of treatment in the future. Therefore, each person should become familiar with the types of injuries and methods of treatment for each of them.

The mechanism of injury in car accidents

Damage to the driver and passengers can occur in a variety of ways. It depends on the location of the person in the car, the type, speed of the vehicle, its brand, the use or absence of belts. What exactly leads to injury:

  • A blow to the person. This occurs in a head-on, sideways, or tangential collision, rollover, and collision. Shock is the most common cause of injury. In this case, contact can occur not only with parts of the car but also with other expensive objects in the car.
  • Compression. This may be due to the deformation of individual parts of the victim. Or in the event of a person falling from the passenger compartment and the vehicle or its parts overturning on it. This mechanism also works when using a seat belt. But this is the fault of a malfunction of the mechanism and the force with which the body rushes forward.
  • Penetration of foreign objects into the victim’s tissue. This often occurs as a result of impact and damage to vehicle parts. Penetrating wounds arise from broken glass, plastic and metal parts, and shards.

Types of damage to the driver and passenger

An accident can cause injury to any part of the body or several at once. It is possible to distinguish the type of damage visually, but it can be characterized more accurately only by a specialist after the examination. However, an eyewitness to the incident can recognize the type of injury in order to help the victim.

Traumatic brain injury. In an accident, the head very often suffers. Indeed, when the car stops abruptly, a person leans forward and can be injured on the glass, steering wheel, therefore, it hits a hard surface, resulting in a head injury. A late-deployed airbag can also cause it. Rear seat passengers may suffer a concussion or bruising if struck against the front seats. If the collision is lateral, the head beats against the car pillar or door. Traumatic brain injury can be recognized by a wound on the forehead or crown of the head, the back of the head, or a broken face. If it is severe, fluid may leak from the ears, nose, visible fracture of the skull bones. A cracked glass of the car indicates a head impact. The most severe head injuries occur in those who are not wearing a seat belt, and as a result, such head injuries can lead to neurological violations.

Spine and ribs. Spinal injuries are common, especially in people who do not wear a seat belt in a car. Also, the driver’s chances of getting spinal injuries rises, when a passenger crashes from behind with great force in a car accident. For this reason, everyone in the cabin must be strapped in, both passengers and the driver. Another common injury is fractures of the ribs and collarbone. This condition can occur when hitting the steering wheel and from the seat belt. The belt saves a person’s life, but during a strong blow, it squeezes the ribs and collarbone, causing them to fracture. 

Internal organs. It is most difficult to recognize damage to internal organs, as there may not be any marks on the body. Nevertheless, if a person does not have external signs of injury, this does not mean that everything is in order. Injury to internal organs is a dangerous condition in which bleeding is possible. You can understand that they are injured in a car accident by the victim’s complaints of abdominal pain, which over time increases and covers an ever-larger area. . The person turns pale, feels weak, and vomits. There may be bruises on the skin in the area of ​​damage. Injuries to internal organs occur due to a blow to the steering wheel with the stomach, chest, or when a person is thrown out of the car. An incorrectly secured seat belt can also cause damage.

Limbs. 15% of road traffic accident victims have various leg injuries, and 12% – hand injuries. Most often, injuries to the lower extremities are received by the driver and the passenger in front. Often, in severe accidents, it is the legs that get stuck, and therefore it is difficult to get a person out of the car. Moreover, fractures are not the worst thing that can happen to limbs in such a situation. If the legs are strongly compressed for a long time, then there is a risk of developing soft tissue necrosis. This process is irreversible and threatens limb amputation. In serious accidents, the hands of the driver are often injured. Hands and fingers break when struck against the steering wheel, and fractures to the forearms and elbows usually occur as a result of a side impact and when the vehicle rolls over. 

What damages are most possible in different road accidents

What damages are most possible in different road accidents

First aid should be given only knowing the nature of the injury. By the type of accident and the external signs of the victim, one can also determine the type of damage:

  • If there was a head-on collision, the head, cervical spine, and larynx are more likely to suffer. Respiratory and rib injury, spleen, liver, and diaphragm injuries can also be expected. If the dashboard is broken, bruises and fractures of the hips, pelvic bones, knees are also likely.
  • In a lateral collision, head injuries to the side, the cervical spine are more likely to occur. Fractures of the humerus and clavicle are likely. In general, injuries are similar to those that occur in a head-on collision, but they occur on one side of the body.
  • In a rear-end collision, the spine and head are more likely to be injured. Fractures of arms and legs, ribs are also possible. Exclude damage to the abdominal and pelvic organs.


If you have become a witness or eyewitness to a road traffic accident with victims, then you may have a reasonable question about whether it is worth helping the wounded or just calling a medical team to the scene. But do not forget that any road user should have the skills to provide first aid itself. The life of a person can depend on it. 

Often, an ambulance does not have time to quickly arrive at the scene: in the city due to traffic jams, and on the highway due to the fact that accidents often occur far from settlements. But assistance provided to the victim in the first 60 minutes after an injury is considered the most effective. Your inept and unskilled actions can lead to the fact that you will only aggravate the situation, even if you try to help. Therefore, knowledge about first aid to victims will never be superfluous.