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Accidents & Disability Information: Conditions & Statistics

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2015/02/27

Synopsis: Information regarding accidents and disability including facts and statistics of common disabling injuries in the home and workplace.

Main Document

An accident is a specific, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects.

The majority of head injuries are caused by road-traffic accidents, falls, sports and assaults. Accidents on the roads and in industrial environments can happen to anybody, resulting in severe limb injury and subsequent disability.

Automobile accidents claim more lives than any other type of accidental death and are responsible for innumerable injuries.

Whiplash is the name for neck sprains to the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spines and is commonly associated with vehicle accidents usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear. In a U.S. study one hundred and thirty-seven patients attending hospital following road traffic accidents were contracted regarding pain in the neck between 1 and 2 years later. Eighty-five (62 per cent) stated that they had suffered pain in the neck at some time following their accident compared with 42 (30.6 per cent) who were noted to have pain in the neck when examined soon after the accident. Thirty-one patients (22.6 per cent) still felt occasional pain 1 year after the accident and 5 had continuous pain at 1 year.

However great the risks are for the average driver, the consequences of an accident are usually much more serious for a motorcyclist, often leading to long-term disability. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there are approximately 6.6 million motorcycles registered in America, and this figure does not include scooters. The NHTSA also reported that nearly 2,500 motorcyclists die in traffic accidents each year, and while this number was previously decreasing from 1990 to 1997, it has increased at least 40 percent steadily since 1997.

A loss of limb or severe disability has a disastrous effect on a person physically, psychologically and economically. Taking out some form of accident or disability insurance policy in case you need to make a claim that involves either accident or disability certainly makes a lot of sense.

Examples of injury-related impairments resulting in disabilities include:

  • Psychological trauma.
  • Paralysis due to spinal cord trauma.
  • Partial or complete amputation of limbs.
  • Sensory disability such as blindness and deafness.
  • Physical and/or cognitive limitations due to neuro-trauma.
  • Physical limb deformation resulting in mobility impairments.

Disabilities incurred by 2502 road accident patients admitted in three separate years to an Accident Hospital - There were about equal numbers of disabled among pedestrians, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants. This corresponds to the high relative frequency and severity of injuries among motorcyclists. Most of the serious disabilities were caused by head or lower limb injuries. Different severities of disability were not closely correlated with Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), (ISS) or (PI) scores or with treatment periods but useful threshold values are described which separate groups with high and low rates of disability. For given severities of injury, disabilities were less severe among young casualties. Comparisons with other studies show rather wide variations in estimates of the incidence of slight disabilities. There is fair agreement with the present findings that serious disabilities occur in about 3% of inpatient hospital cases or in about 1% of total casualties.



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