How common are injuries to the spinal cord?

Much too common. Since many spinal cord injuries result in permanent numbness, weakness, and even paralysis, it is important to protect your spinal cord. Avoid high risk behaviors and be smart. During summer months especially we see spinal cord injuries from jumping head first into shallow pools or rivers, and from high speed car/motorcycle accidents, often with alcohol involved. Be safe!
Moderate. Fortunately, the bones in the spine give us pretty good protection and spinal cord injuries are much less common than things like broken wrists, collarbones, legs, etc. But they are devastating injuries when they lead to paralysis, so you should do everything you can do to prevent them. Wear your seatbelt, be very careful on ladders, stay off roofs (unless trained), don't dive into water, etc.
In the USA, the . Incidence is about 12, 000 new cases in the total us population a year with most in young people from ages 15 to 30 years of age.