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Most Common Car Accident Injuries & How to Avoid Them
Car accidents happen often. With so many of us on the roads and driving remains the most popular mode of transportation in the United States, accidents are inevitable. According to the National Safety Council, there are nearly 10 million crashes a year. Luckily these accidents are rarely life-threatening, and only three out of every 1,000 crashes involved fatalities. While this is good news, it’s an unfortunate reality that these crashes are often costly and do result in injuries.
Car accidents are one of the nation’s most common reasons for injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that motor vehicle accidents cost $871 billion a year. The NHTSA calculated that 3.9 million people sustained car accident injuries in one year with 24 million vehicles damaged. Harm from loss of life, pain, and decreased quality of life due to injuries cost $594 billion a year. The economic detriment of these accidents is astounding, and many are left to suffer from injuries that make it hard to live out their day-to-day lives.
With car accident injuries being an unfortunate reality, it’s important to understand the types of injuries sustained. These can range from small, self-healing irritations to severe trauma that requires immediate medical attention. Both drivers and passengers are susceptible to injuries, and they can happen regardless of who is at fault.
Some of the most serious car accident injuries involve the head. Drivers and passengers involved in high-speed collisions can hit their heads against windows, dashboards, or steering wheels. The repercussions can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries, going into a coma, and other long-term cognitive defects. Other injuries include problems with hearing, loss of or damaged vision, and skull fractures. Head injuries often require extensive, long-term treatment.
Back injuries are common following car crashes. Sufferers can experience pain and soreness in the back follow even mild accidents. A common car accident injury is a herniated disk, where patients deal with numbness, weakened muscles, and lower back pain. In severe cases, spinal cord damage can affect victims’ nervous systems leaving them unable to feel and control their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other parts of the body. Spinal cord damage can also result in paralysis.
Whiplash, a sprain or strain of the neck tissue, is a common and well-known car accident injury. Whiplash occurs in accidents when the head and neck move suddenly and drastically. This severe movement can cause serious damage to the neck’s muscles and ligaments. Whiplash injuries vary from person to person with different levels of damage depending on the person’s health and the gravity of the accident. Patients often suffer from generalized neck pain, swelling, and sometimes paralysis of the vocal cords. This injury is common after rear-end collisions.
Chest injuries resulting from car accidents are often some of the most severe. These injuries come from blunt force trauma sustained in high-speed, high-impact collisions. Patients might suffer from broken ribs and collapsed lungs. These can cause immediate problems such as internal bleeding and damage to the internal organs, abdomen, and pelvis. Those with preexisting heart problems are also at risk of going into traumatic cardiac arrest. These types of severe chest injuries require medical attention immediately.
Car accidents also commonly result in injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Victims can suffer from broken bones, sprains, cuts, and ligament damage. Car accidents can also lead to emotional distress for drivers and passengers involved such as increased anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
You can’t control other drivers or the conditions of the road, but there are many things you can do to help prevent car accidents and associated injuries. Paying careful attention to how you drive, taking the right precautions, and being mindful of when you’re on the road can all help prevent car accident injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following tips:
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries and lawsuits in the United States. Nearly half of all car accidents lead to injury claims. Auto accidents can result in damages ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious, and even life-threatening, injuries.
If you were involved in a car accident, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer. At TorHoerman Law, we have an experienced team of car accident lawyers and support staff ready to help with your car accident lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation and to discuss your potential car accident case for free and with no obligation.
“Fact #946: October 10, 2016 Driving Alone in a Private Vehicle Is the Most Common Means of Transportation to Work.” Energy.gov, www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/fact-946-october-10-2016-driving-alone-private-vehicle-most-common-means.
Lowy, Joan. “Traffic Accidents in the U.S. Cost $871 Billion a Year, Federal Study Finds.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 29 May 2014, www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/motor-vehicle-crashes-u-s-cost-871-billion-year-federal-study-finds.
“Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Oct. 2014, www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/crash-injuries/index.html.
Toups, Des. “How Many Times Will You Crash Your Car?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 Aug. 2011, www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2011/07/27/how-many-times-will-you-crash-your-car/#2ab766854e62.
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