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Driver and passenger ejections from motor vehicles involved in a collision are likely to be fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that occupants who are ejected from a motor vehicle during a collision are three times more likely to suffer fatal injuries compared to occupants who remain restrained inside the vehicle.

Injuries and Fatalities

While the potential injuries resulting from ejection during a motor vehicle crash are limitless, the most common include:

  • Orthopedic injuries and broken bones
  • Limb amputation
  • Neurological injuries involving the spinal cord and brain
  • Paralysis
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding
  • Disfiguring lacerations

Seat Belts and Car Seats

The NHTSA reports that restraint systems such as seat belts with shoulder harnesses and child car seats are the most effective safety equipment in preventing vehicle ejections.

Defective Vehicle Equipment

While seat belts and child car seats are the most effective equipment in preventing vehicle ejections, they are of little or no use if they are defective. After an investigation is complete, it is often found that vehicle defects are contributing factors in an ejection. Additionally, faulty door latches and locks can contribute to ejections as they reduce the effectiveness of the passive restraint properties of a vehicle.

Rollover Ejections

The fastest growing cause of fatalities during motor vehicle crashes is ejection during a rollover. During a rollover crash, the vehicle tumbles over and over as it rolls causing damage to the vehicle. While vehicles are designed to absorb the energy from these impacts, they offer little protection if restraint systems such as seat belts and door locks allow occupants to be ejected. More than half of all rollover fatalities occur as a result of the occupants being ejected from the vehicle.

Sport Utility Vehicles

While many consumers purchase sport utility vehicles assuming that their larger size offers more protection, they may be placing themselves and their passengers at increased risk. Because of their large size, high center of gravity, and large passenger and cargo loads, SUVs are more susceptible to rollover accidents. This higher susceptibility to rollover accidents places the occupants at significantly greater risk for ejections and their resultant fatalities and serious injuries.

Legal Options

If you have been injured as a result of an ejection from a motor vehicle, or if someone in your family has been injured or killed as a result, contact an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with vehicle ejection injuries and fatalities. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other losses.