Is it harmless or utterly stupid to stick out an arm out a moving car window? How many times have your parents reprimanded you not do it? The excitement is too great, you end up sticking out half your body. Kids and young adults have the desire to flirt with danger because it’s fun, and the adrenaline rush is too much to ignore. But how often does harm actually occur?
Do our parents have a good reason to warn us about losing a body part? Let us investigate these warnings further. Unfortunately, there are no records from any government agencies that can support any claim that accidents do occur from losing a body part from a moving car. But it is a known fact that these accidents do happen around the world. We have to be mindful of the dangers of our surroundings, especially when kids become adventurous in a moving vehicle. Children have died from head injuries because of these actions. These occurrences are not confined to children alone.
A passenger was decapitated when a car sideswiped a telephone pole in Georgia. In New York a train conductor was badly hurt when he stuck out his head from the window of the train, this accident happened in March. An Englishman was fatally injured after his head was struck when he exposed it outside the cabin of a train. In Oregon, a car veered towards a tractor-trailer, as a result, one of the passengers lost his arm.
In Rockland, Maine, a helpless child lost his hand from a freak accident that could have been avoided. One end of a jump rope was attached to his wrist and the other end was out the window of a moving car. Incidentally, a car passing caught the other end of the rope and that’s when any parents’ nightmare began. Two million individuals have been reported to suffer from limb amputations. In the United States, 45% of amputees were caused by accidents.
This comes to show people’s susceptibility to losing fingers and hands when a vehicular accident occurs. Not to mention even losing ahead can happen during such an event. It is unclear though if the data is based on senseless actions like sticking out your arm from a window of a moving vehicle. Yatinder Kharbanda, author of the study “Sideswipe Injuries around the Elbow,” published in the Indian Journal of Orthopedics called this kind of ordeal traffic elbow. This kind of trauma happens so often, the medical community gave it a name and did research and studies about it.
The definition of traffic elbow is when a patient rests his or her elbow on the [open] window while traveling in a vehicle with, and is hit by a coming object or a vehicle on the road. A follow-up study was done on 34 patients, 32 men, and 2 women. They all suffered from sideswipe elbow injury. The data showed the extent of each patient’s injury and improvement.
They encountered this kind of trauma because their elbows were resting on an open window while driving and passing vehicles accidentally hit them. Shattered bones to dislocation were common injuries suffered by the patients. Two patients became amputees, six suffered dislocated elbows and few had lifelong disfigurements.
Recovery statistics are bleak. Only 10 patients made full recoveries out of 34 documented cases. According to Kharbanda, these injuries are complicated and often have a bad outcome. Common issues involve stiffness, deformity, and loss of mobility. are common,” She stresses that part of being a responsible car owner should be keeping your hands where they should be. Inside the car.” In India, no legislation exists to prevent or deter placing a limb outside a moving vehicle. Other places, however, have more proactive laws. Research in Australia prompted lawmakers to make illegal even slight exposure of limbs when a vehicle is mobile. The penalties can set you back in the hundreds of dollars.
This move was prompted in part by a study published in 2006 on sideswipes contained in the Medical Journal of Australia. Your lower extremities are just as important as the upper ones. Outcomes of vehicular accidents can result in permanent paralysis and irreversible damage. Although documentation is at best scanty, it is not inconceivable to imagine grotesque scenarios should an accident happen if your foot or leg is where it should not be.
Such grim outcomes are with airbag deployment notwithstanding. “Your knee will probably hyperextend as well, so you’ll be in a position where you’ll potentially have no knee ligaments and no hip joint,” writes a contributor to the Emergency Physicians Monthly blog.
You won’t have time to pull your foot back in the vehicle and the edge of the window will hold your foot in place as the several tons of car rolls on top of it, mangling your foot if you’re lucky and just ripping it from your leg if you’re not that lucky. A 2015 accident in Ontario, Canada sadly mirrors these consequences.
The victim was a woman who nonchalantly placed her feet on the dashboard as she dozed off. While resting comfortably, the collision happened. A pile-up ensued triggering the airbag’s release at a velocity of 320 kilometers an hour. The impact broke and compacted her feet. After months on the mend, her feet ended-up two sizes smaller. If there is any nugget of wisdom to take away from these accounts, is this; please keep your hands and feet inside the car.