Last week there was a head on collision with a tractor trailer in Louisville. It happened on the Gene Snyder near Old Henry Road. In this instance, the semi crossed the median and struck a car in the oncoming lane. The driver of the car sustained critical injuries and was taken to the hospital. The truck driver sustained minor injuries.
Our firm has extensive experience handling tractor trailer accidents. These can be some of the most horrific cases. The injuries sustained in a head on collision with a tractor trailer are usually catastrophic, and often times fatal.
In the above description of the recent collision, the driver of the car was seriously injured, but the truck driver got off easily.
Whenever there’s a collision with a semi truck, the car is ALWAYS at a disadvantage. It’s just simple physics.
Head-on collisions exert tremendous force on the vehicles. Even with airbags and seat belts, the risk of substantial trauma is severe. Depending on the design of the car, the vehicle’s crumple zone is designed to absorb a significant part of the opposing forces. This area is built to crush during a collision. This actually absorbs and transfers some of the force of the crash around the driver, rather than straight at the driver.
Generally speaking, the most common injuries sustained in a head-on collision involve the head, back and neck.
Common Head On Collision Injuries
Soft tissue injuries (such as neck ligament and tendon injuries) occur with the body stays in a restrained position, but the head and neck are thrown forward. This violent action can stretch and injury muscles and ligaments. The effects of a whiplash injury may not be felt immediately after the accident.
Head Trauma is very common in tractor trailer accidents. Catastrophic (and often fatal) injuries can occur as parts of the oncoming car penetrate the vehicle. It’s not uncommon for the head to hit the ceiling, sides, steering column and even dashboard. This caused severe damage as the brain slams against the skull. Fractures to the skull can also occur. Head trauma can lead to closed head injuries such as Tramatic Brain Injury. Mild brain injury is also a risk. Always watch for a sudden change in personality or disposition. Brain trauma is a complicated issue. The symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways.
Blunt trauma often occurs as the body is thrown against the car’s structures. Head-on collisions result in damage to the lungs, ribs and other vital internal organs. Again, if this is a head-on collision with a tractor trailer, even proper seat restraints may have a difficult time protecting the driver and passengers.
Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, broken vertebrae, and nerve damage are very common in head-on collisions. As we stated above, the simple physics involved result in a violent impact to the body. If seatbelts are not in use at the time of the crash, the results are devastating and tragic.
Every time you take to the road, always make sure to buckle up. Remember that when it comes to your own safety, always watch for tractor trailers. You’re already at a disadvantage. It’s just simple physics.