With statistics showing that there are around 6 million auto accidents in the US every single year, leading to 100 fatalities per day and countless injuries too, the risks of the road have never been higher, and it’s more important than ever before for all drivers, young and old, to acknowledge those risks and do whatever they can to avoid them.
Driving safely and sensibly, following the rules, sticking within the speed limit, and so on are all smart ways you can keep yourself and your passengers safe, but the truth is that no journey is completely risk-free, but educating yourself on auto accidents and understanding some of the injuries that can occur can help to keep you focused on staying safe.
This guide will take a look at some of the most common types of auto accident injuries, looking at how they happen, what kinds of effects they can cause, and how they’re treated too. Remember that if ever you get in an accident, even if you don’t seem to have any serious injuries, be sure to get yourself checked by a doctor, just in case.
Fractures and Broken Bones
This is one of the most common injury categories from auto accidents, and there are many different types of fractures and broken bones you can suffer when a crash or collision occurs. Often, these injuries are caused by the sudden shock of the collision, in which the body can be flung forward against the dashboard or into other parts of the car, leading to bone damage.
Fractures and breakages can prevent you from being able to use certain parts of your body temporarily or can even affect people for the rest of their lives in the most severe cases. Bones may need to be reset surgically, while fractures may be able to gradually heal themselves over time with rest.
One of the worst possible injuries you can suffer in an auto accident is a blow to the head. The brain is one of the most important organs in the body, and even though it is well-shielded with the skull and layers of protective liquid, it can incur a lot of damage if your head suddenly gets flung forwards into the steering wheel or the brain is thrown against the inside of the skull.
Many people in car accidents can suffer a range of head trauma injuries, from mild concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These injuries may lead to people suffering headaches, memory loss, or forgetting how to do simple things and may require a lot of rest, medication, and therapy of various kinds through the recovery process.
Whiplash is one of the most common car injuries, primarily affecting the neck. Again, this occurs when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop, usually due to panicked braking or impact with another vehicle, that sends the driver or passenger’s body lurching forward at great speed. Often, the seatbelt holds your torso back while your head and neck get thrown forwards, leading to neck damage.
Fortunately, despite being quite painful and restricting neck movement for a while, whiplash doesn’t usually require too much treatment to treat and doesn’t pose too much threat of long-term effects. It can often get better on its own with a little rest and relaxation over the course of a few weeks, but those who have been affected may still suffer additional side effects like neck stiffness, headaches, and blurred vision, so will need to consult a doctor for a professional diagnosis.
It’s important to note that physical injuries aren’t the only issues to worry about when auto accidents occur. Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or PTSD are quite common for victims of car accidents, and it’s not uncommon for people to develop phobias associated with driving and suffer a loss of self-confidence too.
These mental health issues can have various knock-on effects in a person’s life, potentially affecting their personal relationships, their career, their sleep schedule, and so on. It’s important, therefore, to seek professional help if you find yourself dealing with anxiety or other issues after an accident.
Clearly, the physical and mental risks of car accidents can be quite terrible to deal with, which is why it’s so important to do whatever you can to avoid crashes and collisions of all kinds. Even a simple fender bender can leave you with mild whiplash and mental distress, so make sure you stay safe, follow the rules of the road, and never drive under the influence.