Common types of road traffic injuries and their severity

Road traffic injuries

Road traffic accidents claim the lives of around 1.3 million people each year. Another 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, which in many cases result in disability

Road traffic injuries cause significant economic losses to individuals, their families and countries as a whole. This damage is due to the cost of treatment and loss of productivity due to death or injury, as well as disengagement from work or the education of relatives who must care for the injured. The damage incurred by most countries as a result of traffic accidents is as high as 3% of their gross domestic product.

Who is at risk?

Socio-economic status

More than 90% of road traffic deaths occur in low- or middle-income countries. Road traffic fatalities are highest in countries in the African region, and lowest in countries in the European region. Even in high-income countries, the risk of road traffic crashes increases in groups with lower socio-economic status.


Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among children and young people aged 5 to 29 years.

Beginning in younger age groups, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among men than women. About three-quarters (73%) of all fatal crashes involve young men under age 25, among whom the risk of death from crashes is nearly three times higher than among young women.

Risk Factors

The Safe System approach: adjusting for human error

The Safe System approach to road traffic management seeks to ensure a safe transport system for all road users. It is an approach that recognizes the danger of serious injury in traffic crashes, and the need for a system that is resistant to the risks posed by human error. The approach is based on safe roads and roadside zones, safe speed limits, safe vehicles and safe road users – all factors that must be taken into account to prevent fatal crashes and reduce serious road traffic injuries.


  • An increase in median speed directly affects both the risk of crashes and the severity of their consequences. For example, a 1% increase in median speed results in a 4% increase in the risk of fatal crashes and a 3% increase in the risk of serious crashes.
  • In a frontal vehicle-to-pedestrian collision, the risk of fatality increases rapidly (4.5 times the speed from 50 km/h to 65 km/h).
  • In a side impact at 65 km/h the risk of fatality for vehicle occupants is 85%.

Driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages and other psychoactive substances

  • Driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages and other psychoactive or narcotic substances leads to an increased risk of fatal crashes and serious road injuries.
  • When driving under the influence of alcohol, the risk of a crash occurs even when the blood alcohol level (BAC) is low and increases significantly when the BAC level is ≥0.04 g/dL.
  • When driving under the influence of drugs, the risk of a crash increases to varying degrees depending on the substance used. For example, the risk of a crash among those under the influence of amphetamines is about five times higher than among those who have not used them.

Failure to use motorcycle helmets, seat belts, and child restraint systems

  • Proper helmet use reduces the risk of fatal injuries by 42% and the risk of head injuries by 69%.
  • The use of seat belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to drivers and front row passengers by 45-50% and the risk of fatal or serious injury to rear row passengers by 25%.
  • The use of child restraint systems reduces the risk of a fatality by 60%.

Inattention while driving

There are many distractions that can cause a driver to fail to operate a vehicle. A growing concern as a factor affecting traffic safety is cell phones

  • The use of a cell phone while driving leads to a fourfold increase in the risk of a crash. The use of the phone while driving leads to slower reactions (in particular, increased reaction time when braking is required), and also makes it difficult to observe traffic lanes and distances between vehicles.
  • Phones equipped with a technical device that allows for hands-free conversations are not much safer than phones that need to be held in the hand, and text messaging significantly increases the risk of a crash.
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Unsafe road infrastructure

Road design has a significant impact on road safety. Ideally, roads should be designed to ensure the safety of all road users. This means providing appropriate facilities and structures for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Facilities such as pedestrian and bicycle paths, safe crossings and other traffic slowdowns are important to reduce the risk of injury to these road users.

Unsafe Vehicles

Vehicle safety plays an important role in preventing accidents and reducing the risk of serious injury. There are a number of UN vehicle safety regulations that have been incorporated into national industry standards to help prevent fatalities. These regulations, among other things, require manufacturers to meet front and side impact safety standards, install electronic stability control systems (to prevent skidding), and equip all vehicles with airbags and seat belts. Without compliance with these basic standards, the risk of traffic injuries, both to vehicle occupants and other road users, increases significantly.

Inadequate care for crash victims

The severity of injuries increases with delays in identifying and treating road crash victims. Time is of the essence in the care of road crash victims: a delay of a few minutes can cost lives. Improving the care of crash victims requires timely pre-hospital care, as well as improving the quality of both pre-hospital and hospital care, for example through training programs for specialists.

Inadequate enforcement of traffic laws

In the absence of enforcement of legal requirements for intoxicated driving, seat belt use, compliance with speed limits, helmet and child restraint use, there will be no expected reduction in deaths and injuries associated with certain behavioral road users. Thus, if enforcement is absent or perceived to be absent, it is likely that the relevant requirements will not be enforced and the chances that they will affect road user behavior are slim.

Effective enforcement involves enacting and regularly updating legislation at the national, municipal, and local levels to address the above risk factors, as well as monitoring compliance. It also involves the imposition of appropriate sanctions.

What can be done to combat road traffic injuries

Road traffic injuries are preventable. Government agencies must take action to ensure road safety through a holistic approach. This requires the involvement of many sectors, such as the transport sector, law enforcement, health authorities, education authorities, and measures to improve the safety of roads, vehicles and road users.

Effective interventions include designing safer infrastructure and integrating road safety features into land-use and transport planning, improving vehicle safety systems, improving post-crash care, enacting and enforcing legislation on major risks, and implementing public awareness campaigns.

WHO activities

Technical support to countries

The WHO works with countries across the full range of these areas in a multisectoral approach, in partnership with national and international stakeholders from different sectors. The objective of this work is to support Member States in planning, implementing and evaluating road safety policies.

In addition, WHO works with partners to provide technical support to countries. For example, WHO is currently working with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in selected low- or middle-income countries and cities.

In 2017. WHO released the “Saving Lives” technical road safety package, which summarizes evidence-based interventions to significantly reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries. The Saving Lives package focuses on speed management, leadership, infrastructure design and improvement, vehicle safety standards, traffic enforcement and crash survival.

The package focuses on six strategies and 22 actions to reduce the above risk factors, and provides guidance to Member States on implementing measures to save lives and meet the road safety target of halving global road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020.

    (Road Safety Engineering Package “Saving Lives”)

Coordination of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

WHO – in collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions – is the lead organization for road safety within the United Nations system. WHO chairs the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and serves as the secretariat for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030. The Decade of Action, proclaimed in a UN General Assembly resolution, was launched in October 2021 with the announcement of an ambitious goal to prevent at least 50% of road traffic fatalities and injuries by 2030. The Global Plan for the Decade of Action stresses the importance of a holistic approach to road safety and calls for further improvements in urban, road and vehicle design, strengthening regulations and enforcement, and providing lifesaving emergency care for road crash victims. The Global Plan also supports transport policies and road design that focus on safe travel on foot, by bicycle, by public transport, so that these modes of travel can be prioritized as beneficial to health and the environment.

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WHO also plays a key role in leading the global effort by continuing to advocate at the highest political levels for road safety; collecting and disseminating information on best practices in injury prevention, information gathering, and trauma care; providing public information on risks and how to reduce risks; and highlighting the need for increased funding. In support of these efforts, WHO organizes and conducts high-level advocacy events, such as UN Weeks for Global Road Safety and the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, in collaboration with key partners, including the Global NGO Alliance for Road Safety and YOURS Youth for Road Safety.

Monitoring progress through global status reports

WHO’s State of the World’s Road Safety Report 2018 provides information on the road safety situation in 175 countries. It is the fourth in a series of reports providing an overview of the global road safety situation. The State of the World reports serve as the official monitoring tool for the implementation of the Decade of Action. The publication of the fifth State of the World report is expected in late 2023.

What is trauma – first aid for domestic injuries

Trauma is when the skin is broken and internal organs are partially or completely dysfunctional due to external factors. Everyone has experienced trauma at least once in their lives, as such injuries happen to different people at any age, especially children and the elderly. Untreated trauma can lead to severe consequences, so if you are injured in any way, you should consult a doctor immediately for further recommendations.

Doctors at Yusupov Hospital are always ready to come to the aid of their patients. Qualified and experienced specialists of our clinic know how to behave in urgent situations and how to help with different types of injuries.

Types and severity of injuries

There are several types of injuries:

  • Chemical injuries. These injuries occur through inhalation or tactile contact with dangerous and poisonous chemicals. Aggressive substances can injure mucous membranes through air contact, as well as be absorbed into the blood through the skin and poison the body from within;
  • Mechanical. The most popular type of injury, resulting from a sharp impact on a person’s soft tissues or internal organs. This also includes birth and post-operative injuries;
  • Thermal. Appear due to exposure of the skin to too low or too high temperatures (burns, frostbites);
  • Radiation. Such injuries occur against a background of prolonged exposure to radiation, including for therapeutic purposes;
  • electrical. As a rule, such traumas affect the whole organism, as the human body is a conductor of electric current. Occur after exposure of the body to natural or household current;
  • Psychological. This type of trauma occurs against the background of experienced shock, stress, panic attack, etc. and in the future is reflected in the psychological health of the patient;
  • combined – multiple traumas of different types. Most often observed in victims of traffic accidents, plane crashes, victims of natural disasters, etc;
  • Biological – injuries caused by poisonous plants, insects, predatory animals, dangerous microorganisms;
  • Domestic – injuries acquired by a worker outside of working hours. Such injuries can be of any nature and are of legal rather than medical significance;
  • Occupational Injury. An injury that a person sustains on the job, at work, etc.

Each type of injury is separately classified on a severity scale for a more accurate clinical medical picture:

Mild Trauma . There is little pain syndrome, discomfort, the injury does not seriously affect a person’s ability to work and is treated at home. Every person, especially those of child age, encounters these types of injuries.

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moderate severity trauma. There are slight changes in the functioning of metabolic processes and internal organs, and the period of incapacity for work is from 15 to 30 days. Treatment may be carried out both at home and in the walls of the hospital, depending on the nature of the damage received

severe trauma . There are pronounced signs of disruption of internal organs, or the integrity of the skin. In this case you need a doctor’s help and immediate hospitalization. Recovery time is approximately 30-60 days.

Extremely severe injuries. These injuries are incompatible with life and within a certain period of time are fatal.

Injuries are also divided into open and closed. Open injuries are injuries to the skin with partial breakage of the skin. These injuries are accompanied by bleeding and can cause infection or even blood poisoning through the wound. Closed injuries are defined as injuries without visible damage to the skin, but with hematomas, bruises, swelling and internal bleeding. Open injuries require immediate hospitalization, while closed injuries can in some cases be treated at home. Going to the doctor is never a redundant measure taken during the treatment of even a minor injury, because the true picture of the consequences can only be known after undergoing a series of examinations. Doctors at Yusupovskaya Hospital will correctly diagnose the patient based on the initial clinical picture and the results of examinations performed within the hospital. Timely initiated treatment will provide the patient with short-term rehabilitation and minimize the risk of developing side pathologies.

Domestic injuries: types

Injuries are a major cause of death in middle-aged people. One should distinguish the types of injuries and know how first aid should be given in the necessary case.

Mechanical injuries are the main cause of death in the middle-aged population. These injuries include falls, cuts, fire injuries, drowning, gunshot wounds, and stab wounds.

Fire safety should be carefully considered and not neglected, as most mechanical injury deaths are due to unintentional arson. Fires can occur outdoors as well as in the home due to smoking in bed, short circuits, burning gas stoves, etc. In the open air you should always extinguish the fire behind you, avoid throwing cigarette butts into the dry grass and, if necessary, extinguish fires caused by high air temperatures. It is also advisable, being in the nature to monitor the quality of water and the presence of underwater sharp stones in the water bodies. You can not swim in places not specially designated for that. It is important to pay attention to the flora and fauna in a particular area, as poisonous insects and animals can not only spoil your vacation, but also seriously harm your health.

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a person can intentionally or accidentally injure himself, as well as others, so it is necessary to monitor people with impaired judgment until they sober up.

First Aid for Domestic Injuries

Properly rendered first aid to the victim minimizes the accession of side diseases and reduces the pathological effects on the body:

  • burns. Thermal burns should be immediately held in cold water for about 10-15 minutes, then treated with panthenol or other soothing agent. In no case you should not open the blister formed, lubricate it with an alcoholic solution or fat. For deep, severe thermal burns, contact a professional immediately for a professional evaluation of the injury. Chemical burns to the skin should be rinsed with plenty of running water and the wound treated with an anti-burn agent. In cases where the mucosa or larynx is injured by chemicals, you should immediately go to the hospital for help;
  • bruises. You should immediately apply cold to the bruised area and immobilize the injured area as much as possible. If swelling, bruising and pain persist, you should seek help at the hospital, as this may indicate a fracture, cracked bones, torn ligaments, etc. If the soft tissues are bruised slightly, it is enough to apply cold for a short time;
  • animal and insect bites. Bites from wild or stray animals are dangerous because the animal’s mouth is home to a large number of bacteria that can infect an open wound on the human body if they come into contact with it. Deep lacerations from animal bites are also fraught with a long and painful healing process. The basic principles of first aid for animal and insect bites are to treat with antiseptic, apply a protective dressing, and seek help from a medical professional;
  • cuts. Small cuts and scratches received at home should be washed with cold water, treated with an antiseptic agent and a protective bandage or plaster should be applied. In cases of deep wounds with severe venous bleeding, a special tourniquet should be applied to impede blood circulation and you should immediately go to the hospital;
  • Electric shock trauma. The first thing to do is to turn off the faulty device carefully without injuring yourself. The injured person should immediately be given any sweet drink and a sedative. If a person has fainted from an electric shock, you should call an ambulance and monitor his pulse, breathing and heartbeat until the ambulance arrives.
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Occupational and domestic injuries – the differences

As the definitions of work injury and injury are legal, the difference is in the location of the injury – work injury occurs while the employee is at work, while work injury occurs while the employee is away from work (at home, on vacation, on business, etc.). These definitions help attorneys address questions about the benefits and sick pay provided by supervisors at the injured person’s place of work.

Timely and proper care for domestic injuries not only makes doctors’ jobs easier, but also minimizes the risk of dynamic disease growth. The Rehabilitation Center provides medical services of the best doctors who are ready to come to the rescue even in the most difficult situations. To make an appointment to see a doctor, call the Yusupov Hospital number.

Do you have any questions? We will call you back.

We will be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

Injuries after a car accident

According to statistics on traffic accidents, every year the number of accidents continues to grow. And accordingly, the number of victims in accidents is also increasing. You should know that the causes of accidents can be thousands of random or sudden factors. Also, for passengers, a consequence in an accident can become a variety of injuries of the musculoskeletal system. As you know, most of the population does not relate themselves to the possibility of falling among the victims of all kinds of car accidents. However, the participants of the accident can become not only motorists, but also people who are traveling on public transport or simply crossing the street.

In case of an accident you can call the resuscitation team of Yusupovskaya hospital. Highly skilled doctors will provide the necessary assistance and, if necessary, urgent transport to the intensive care unit.

Injuries in an accident

The high rate of death and injury resulting from motor vehicle accidents remains a recognized fact throughout the world. A moderate crash injury is defined as tissue damage that is characterized by impairment of the integrity and function of the tissue. Types of injuries in accidents can be very diverse and range from minor bruises to severe fractures or ruptures of internal organs. If your neck hurts after a car accident, you should seek help from a specialist.

According to statistics, most injuries occur to the musculoskeletal system. Modern medicine combines them into a large group called limb injuries.

Possible types of injuries to the lower extremities include fractures of the femur and dislocations of the femur. Dislocations are characterized by a straightened or bent hip with an unnatural lateral extension of the hip. Attempts to make any movement result in excruciating pain. With this symptom, the first thing to do is to administer pain relief, then carry and transport the injured person to the hospital on a stretcher and on his or her back. The leg should be left in a dislocated and withdrawn position. It can be covered with pillows or clothing for this purpose. Fractures of the femur are characterized by injuries to the upper part of the lower extremity. These injuries are also very severe and require immediate anesthesia and hospitalization. In the case of a hip fracture, the injured leg should always be placed in the correct position and a splint should be applied immediately.

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The upper extremities are also quite often injured. Bruises or fractures of the hands are the most common, followed by all sorts of hand fractures.

Spinal Cord Injury in an Accident

Spinal cord injuries are the most severe in terms of treatment and all sorts of complications. For example, a complication from spinal fractures can be numbness in the legs or arms, up to and including paralysis. The most unprotected part of the spine is the cervical spine. Abrupt braking or sharp impacts can cause cervical vertebrae to dislocate or fracture in a car accident. This diagnosis can only be confirmed by X-rays at Yusupov Hospital. Neck trauma in a car accident is quite a frequent event. It is very important in such a situation to carefully put the injured person on a stretcher and make sure that the neck and head are at the same level. Fracture of the cervical vertebrae in a car accident can have very bad consequences for the victim, so first aid should be given as soon as possible.

For lumbar and thoracic injuries, you also need to make sure that there is no back arching while transporting the victim to the hospital.

When a car rolls over or simply by applying a lot of pressure from different directions on the pelvic bones, they are prone to fractures. The most dangerous is an injury to the articulation of the spine and pelvis; it can cause very severe internal bleeding. The signs of pelvic fractures are usually considered to be pelvic deformity and external hemorrhages. Also pelvic injuries may be accompanied by ruptures of the bladder, kidneys, and blood vessels. In such a situation, the victim needs a stretcher that is rigid and not deflected, as well as the correct position for hospitalization. The victim should lie on his back with his legs bent at the knees and hips.

Open fractures are characteristic injuries in traffic accidents and are among the most severe injuries that can occur in a traffic accident. Such injuries result in very severe traumatic shock, which must be treated urgently with painkillers. Doctors apply sterile dressings and tourniquets to open wounds to stop bleeding, and then splints are applied. Bleeding usually always gets worse during transfer to a stretcher. For such severe injuries after an accident, the patient is taken immediately to the intensive care unit. For severed limbs, the principle of first aid is the same, and the severed limb is taken to the intensive care unit with the victim.

Injuries after a thoracic injury can be different. They include rib fractures and contusions. Symptoms of fractures include:

  • sharp pain in the chest;
  • external deformities;
  • pain on inhaling and exhaling;
  • choking;
  • hemoptysis.
  • closed pneumothorax;
  • damage by rib fractures of the lungs;
  • hemothorax;
  • open pneumothorax.

Recovery from a car accident

As modern scientific practice shows, car accidents happen in seconds. Consequently, it is practically impossible to regroup to somehow protect yourself in such a short period of time. Routine seatbelts can reduce injuries, as they cut the risk of injury in half. Seat belts also affect the severity of injuries sustained. Injuries you sustain can significantly reduce your quality of life in the future. Driver injuries in accidents are usually the most serious, so it is important to wear a seat belt when driving.

If your neck hurts after an accident, it is worth seeking help from a specialist, as injuries sustained in a car accident can be the beginning of serious illness. The rehabilitation clinic employs highly qualified specialists who will help you get through the recovery phase after the accident as quickly and comfortably as possible for the patient. You can make an appointment to see a specialist 24 hours a day by calling Yusupov Hospital.

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