What to Know About Traffic Accidents & Friction Burns | Scott Goodwin Law

What to Know About Traffic Accidents & Friction Burns

by / Monday, 11 April 2022 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Woman sits on the ground next to two crashed cars.

Fires are a rare (but not non-existent) occurrence during car accidents. However, a fire doesn’t necessarily need to occur for a person to develop a burn injury. In some cases, burns can be caused by coming into contact with a chemical, but they can also occur due to friction. 

What Are Friction Burns?

Friction burns aren’t burns in the conventional sense because they aren’t caused by suddenly coming in contact with an open flame, hot surface, or a harsh chemical. Instead, friction burns are caused by skin being rubbed against a hard and/or abrasive surface (or in some cases, against skin) with speed to generate a buildup of heat and damage the skin. For example, a person might get a friction burn if they fall while walking/running on a treadmill and their skin comes into contact with the moving belt. Very often, friction burns are referred to as “rug burn” or “rope burn” since they can be caused by things like coming into contact with things like carpet or rope, such as if a person has climbed a rope and slides back down. 

Friction burns can happen anywhere on the body, but they tend to most commonly occur on areas like knees, elbows, forearms, and other areas of the body that tend to be bony. The severity of friction burns is measured based on the surface area of the bun and the depth of the burn.

Friction Burns & Traffic Accidents

It’s difficult to know exactly how common friction burns are because they’re often too mild for people to seek medical treatment for them. And while friction burns can be caused by many different things, there is some research to show that they are a common occurrence in various types of traffic accidents. In one 2008 study looking at 60 friction burn patients, road traffic accidents were the most common cause, impacting 56 of the patients. 

In the case of car accidents, friction burns can be caused by an airbag going off or a seatbelt rubbing against skin. Friction burns are also very common in motorcycle and bicycle accidents when cyclists fall off their bike and onto the road. “Road rash” is another name often used for friction burns because of how common these types of injuries are in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. Since these types of accidents tend to involve stronger forces, they tend to cause friction burns that are more severe than friction burns caused in many other ways. 

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Friction burns can be very painful. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in any way, it’s important to have a car accident lawyer on your side who can help you understand your rights. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re experienced in helping the victims of all types of Michigan motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, bicycle and motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. Contact us today for help with your case.