According to researchers for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), interior padding in vehicles correlates to a 24 percent reduction in life-threatening head injuries and a 4 percent reduction in fatalities. Although interior padding has proven successful at reducing serious and fatal head injuries, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States, accounting for 17.3 percent of TBIs and causing 31.8 percent of TBI-related deaths. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, or if your family member was killed in one, you may be entitled to compensation, and an experienced Atlantic City injury attorney can help you fight to get it.
Head-protecting side airbags also protect occupants from serious and fatal head injuries, often minimizing the role of interior padding in the event of a crash. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), interior padding remains an important safety feature nonetheless, especially in minor motor vehicle accidents that fail to trigger airbags. When airbags do inflate, interior padding protects passengers whose heads collide with vehicle parts that are not covered by the airbags, as noted by the IIHS.
According to the IIHS, auto manufacturers started installing interior padding — made from energy-absorbent materials like “composite plastic foam, egg-crate-like ribs and crushable tubes” — during the late 1990s. The padding is used to cover a vehicle’s ceiling and pillars, as well as any other vehicle parts an occupant’s head might strike during a crash. The agency estimates interior padding “adds about $26 to the lifetime cost of purchasing and operating a vehicle.”
As effective as interior padding and head-protecting side airbags may be at protecting occupants from serious and fatal head injuries in the event of a crash, these safety features cannot prevent all car accident-related TBIs. Many TBI victims suffer permanent impairments, such as:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slowed mental processing
- Mood swings
- Changes in personality
- Chronic headaches
- Speech problems
- Difficulty reading and writing
- Sensory issues
If you or your loved one sustained a TBI or other serious injury in a car accident, construction accident, fall, or as a result of medical malpractice, contact a knowledgeable Atlantic City injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.