Occupant ejections in which a driver and/or passenger inside a vehicle are thrown from that vehicle as a result of a collision are often fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), individuals who are ejected from a vehicle in a collision are three times more likely to be killed compared to those who are not ejected.
Fatalities and Injuries Due to Ejection
Occupant ejections are also more likely to result in:
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Seatbelts and Car Seats
Seatbelts and child safety seats are two safety measures that do much to prevent ejection during a collision; in fact, the NHTSA states that using a seatbelt is the best way to keep from being thrown from your vehicle in a crash.
However, sometimes safety belts are defective and fail to keep a vehicle's occupant from being ejected. Another factor that can contribute to a passenger's ejection is when a door latch fails in a collision and the vehicle's door opens, letting a passenger fall out (particularly during a rollover). In fact, vehicle defects are often a contributing factor to a car, SUV or truck occupant's ejection.
Occupant Ejections from Rollovers
Rollovers are a primary cause of occupant ejections. In a rollover, the vehicle's occupants are rolled over and over, and frequently upside down. More than half of the deaths that occur in rollovers are the result of the occupants being ejected from the vehicle, and unfortunately, rollover accidents are the fastest-growing cause of car accident fatalities in the U.S.
More Common in SUVs
Rollovers are especially likely for the drivers and passengers in SUVs (sport utility vehicles). Although many Americans buy SUVs thinking that such large vehicles are safer than sedans or station wagons, the truth is that SUVs are far more likely to roll over, because of their higher center of gravity and the larger cargo/passenger load they're carrying.
Talk to a Lawyer about Your Injuries
If an occupant ejection has caused an injury or fatality in your family, contact an attorney who is familiar with vehicle collision issues. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs and/or other losses.