Let's be honest with ourselves here for a minute. We have all dropped our phones a time or two at some point in our lives. It's inevitable, and hey, mistakes happen. Some number of years ago I was dropping my phone at least once or twice a week, it's a wonder I was able to keep it two years before needing to replace it. However your experiences are with your own devices one thing is certain, you can bet that carriers as well as manufacturers are prepared to some degree to provide you with a device that can at least withstand some form of physical damage.
That having been said, it's always a best practice to just not drop your electronics at all, but in the unfortunate event that it does happen, perhaps it will provide some peace of mind to know that carriers like Verizon Wireless (and likely others) have tried to prepare us for such scenarios. These images of Verizon's controlled torture tests paint a pretty good picture about what they put each and every device through before they begin the process to sell it to customers on their store shelves. Verizon seems to put things through some pretty rigorous testing, which we can't say is a bad thing. They know that they will come in contact with customers that have damaged their phones beyond repair in a number of different ways and they attempt to re-create some of those situations with these tests.
Thanks to engadgets tour of Verizon's labs, there are some nifty images of what things look like and what tests are being done, like the image of the tumbler machine which tosses phones around in a metal box while it spins over and over and over. Verizon also reportedly tests this machine while the phones have stuff like music turned on so they'll know if something happens, at which point would be when they no longer hear any music playing. They also have a machine that tests the durability of devices after being repeatedly dropped from 1 meter to a half a meter depending on the type of device. Phablets and smartphones with bigger displays are dropped from a half a meter, while smartphones are dropped from a full meter. These are certainly some imaginative tests but truth be told they're probably pretty accurate in contrast to how devices actually get damaged.