While its true deaths and auto accident injuries have decreased continually over the past few years, they continue to remain very high.
In 2019 alone, nearly 40,000 people suffered from deaths due to car accidents. In those crashes that did not result in fatalities, tens of thousands more suffered serious injuries.
Naturally, some injuries tend to happen more frequently than others.
It’s important to understand how these accidents our, and the common injuries that stem from them. This way, we can do our best to avoid them. Should they occur, we can respond properly to avoid further injury.
For more on some of the most common auto accident injuries, keep reading below!
Major Factors Leading to Car Accident Injuries
It’s important to always remain defensive as a driver. You can never fully predict the actions of others on the road, or how the conditions of the day may affect their vehicles.
For even the best drivers, car accidents can occur at any time. Injuries resulting from these crashes cannot always be prevented. However, there are several steps you can take to minimize the damage to your body and vehicle.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is to wear a seatbelt consistently. They may be uncomfortable at times, but they are proven to reduce the risk of death by 45 percent, and the risk of serious injury by 50 percent in a crash.
Without a seatbelt, you may become ejected during a high-speed accident. This drastically increases the chance of death or serious injury—and can largely be avoided with proper seatbelt use.
Another major factor affecting the severity of auto accident injuries is the nature of the accident. Naturally, head-on accidents tend to be some of the most damaging.
But, side collisions can be extremely dangerous as well due to the lack of airbags and the general vulnerability of the location. This is where the importance of seatbelts comes back into play, as well.
Finally, the speeds involved in the crash can play a huge role in damage levels. Higher-speed crashes tend to be much more severe than lower-speed collisions.
All in all, car accidents occur far too frequently. With this in mind, there are several common injuries that recur regardless of the type of accident.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
No two car accidents look exactly the same. There is a multitude of factors that can affect how a crash plays out, and the resulting injuries that may occur. However, the below injuries tend to occur more frequently than others.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries stemming from a car accident. During the course of this event, your body can jolt quickly and sharply. This results in a strain on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons around your head and neck.
While whiplash typically does not involve broken bones, it can injure the soft tissues of the neck and thus prove to be very painful.
Unfortunately, there is not an easy fix for this type of injury. Most of the time, the healing process simply involves rest and relaxation to allow the body to recover.
But in some cases, whiplash can be a lasting struggle. For this reason, it is important to seek treatment quickly.
Scrapes and cuts are another common example of a car accident-related injury.
In addition to the impact of the vehicle itself, you may suffer from lesions due to other loose projectiles in the vehicle. Items like your cell phone, reusable cups, and other hard objects can go flying during an accident.
They may strike you—or become very sharp when broken, and cut you. Either way, these everyday objects can add to the dangers of ordinary car accidents.
Furthermore, cuts and scrapes can become very dangerous on their own. They may not seem like a big deal, but they can quickly develop into a more damaging problem.
The risk for infection poses a serious threat to health if not properly treated. Even if it just requires a bandage, be sure to have cuts and scrapes evaluated by a professional following a crash.
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are another example of auto accident injuries that can have serious effects on the human body.
A concussion is like a bruise to the brain—it’s not something that can be surgically repaired, but still needs protection from further damage.
These injuries can sometimes be harder to diagnose, as they are not always cut-and-dry. Unlike a broken bone, these types of brain injuries cannot be identified with a scan.
There are diagnosing tools that medical professionals use to determine when a patient may suffer from this type of injury—but that leaves room for human error. Plus, the patient may not be aware they are suffering from such an injury and thus not seek treatment.
If not properly treated, concussions can have lasting effects spanning many years to come. Some of these side effects include:
- Lack of focus
- Sleeping difficulty
- Memory loss
As medical technology continues to improve over time, more treatments become available following a concussion. Unfortunately, the best remedy is still just time.
Most doctors agree that a long period of rest without much sensory stimulation is the best path to allow the brain to heal itself following a concussion.
Due to their location in the body and their relative fragility, ribs are fairly easy to break—especially when injured in a car accident.
As with a concussion, broken ribs often require a long period of rest to heal. Again, due to their location in the body, there is not much protection that can be applied. There is also not much in terms of a remedy—instead, you simply have to allow the body to heal itself.
Other Broken Bones
Beyond just ribs, other bones are frequently broken in a car accident. These include:
In addition, joints like wrists and knees are often broken or displaced in accidents.
These types of injuries occur due to the massive amounts of force placed on your body. The body is simply unable to sustain such a force, thus resulting in the break.
With most bones, casts can be placed. This prevents further injury to the area and allows the body to heal itself in a protected environment.
But like many other health effects on this list—time is the best healer.
While it may not be visible at first glance, internal bleeding is one of the most common yet dangerous examples of car accident injuries. You may not even realize you are suffering from it—until it’s too late.
This type of injury must be treated quickly, to prevent further blood loss or other damage to the body.
In addition to the above physical injuries mentioned, it’s also important to remember the mental and emotional aspects.
Many victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a crash. This is especially true following fatal crashes, or when extensive injuries occur.
Other mental health issues may weigh on you, as well. Guilt is a common example of this. This is especially true when you were at fault for the accident, or when extensive injuries occur.
While this may not be visible on the surface, it can play a serious role in affecting your day-to-day life. These types of injuries are equally as serious as physical injuries—and must be treated as such.
If you suffer from mental or emotional injuries following an auto accident, it is critical that you seek treatment from a qualified professional.
Putting the Pieces Back Together
While preventing car accidents is not always possible, there may be a way to recoup some of the damages.
Of course, it depends on the circumstances of your accident. But in situations in which another party is at fault for your car accident injuries, you may be able to take legal action.
In these situations, you would likely benefit from consulting an auto accident lawyer. With their skills and experience, they can help guide you through the best options for your case.
For more information, look into an auto accident attorney in your area.
Now You Know About Common Auto Accident Injuries
With the above information in mind, you can better protect yourself from serious injuries in a car accident. If they do occur, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Once a doctor confirms you are safe and secure, you may be eligible to seek legal remedies. Be sure to contact a trusted attorney with experience in auto accident injuries to further discuss your options.
If you found this content helpful, be sure to check out our other automotive articles!