When we hear something bad, something horrible happening, we never think it will get to us. But it turns out, that we are no exception. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives statistics about car accident injuries. Apparently, more than three million people are injured each year in a car accident across the country. And the accidents vary with their severity. Some get hurt real bad. Some turn out to be luckier and get out easier. However, there are some types of injuries that are more common than others.
Now, more car accident injuries can be healed within a couple of days without even any medical treatment. And some, the more serious injuries, can become permanent: resulting in some level of physical disability. To better understand what type of injuries the drivers and passengers involved in a car accident suffered and the severity of those, you need to account some factors. Those include, whether:
- The person was wearing a seatbelt or not
- The car was hit from the rear, side or front
- The person was facing straight ahead in the seat or the body was turned in a certain direction
- The collision was low-speed or high-speed
- The car had airbags or not
Car accident Injuries: two broad categories
To be more specific, there are two broad categories of car accident injuries. The first one is an impact injury. This is usually caused when part of the person’s body hits some part of the interior of the car. For example, the knee of the person may hit a dashboard or the head may hit the seat rest or the side window.
The second type is the penetrating injury. This is usually cuts and scrapes. For example, shattering glass or loose objects in the car can cause these types of injuries.
A soft tissue injury is a damage to the body’s connective tissue: muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Interestingly, this is the most common type of car accident injuries. These injuries can take many forms. There is this one type: whiplash injury to the neck and upper back. So here is what happens in this type of injuries: the muscles and ligaments are stretched. And that is because of the sudden movements imposed on the head and neck in the crash. The same way soft tissue injuries can happen in other areas of the body. For example, the back can be one of the spots. And usually, car accidents cause mid-back and low-back muscle springs. However, if you get hit really bad, you may have more serious back injuries because of the impact force against your spine.
Scrapes and cuts you will want to avoid
In case you are in a car crash any loose objects inside that car become projectiles thrown that can hurt you. Those include cell phones, coffee mugs, eyeglasses, books, GPS systems, etc. So when the crash happens and these objects are flying in the air inside your car they can cut your skin. And in some cases, they can really injure you. When the injuries are relatively minor they may not require any medical treatment. However, in more serious situations they can result in loss of blood. So you might even need some stitches.
So what happens when you or the person driving crash the car? An unexpected stop or change in direction often can cause the heads of the occupants to experience sudden or unnatural movements. Muscle strain in the neck and back is the first things that can happen. Moreover, impact with a side window or steering wheel can cause scrapes and bruise to the head. Even deeper lacerations are possible. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that case, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged. And you all know about the less severe closed head injuries: they can result in concussions. And the most severe ones can cause brain damage.
Typically, these types of injuries take the form of contusions or bruises. However, they can be more severe. For example, broken ribs or internal injuries are possible. Often drivers experience chest injuries. That happens because of their position behind the steering wheel. It gives very little freedom of movement since the chest crashes with the steering wheel. Imagine a person’s body is thrown forward in a crash. Yes, it might not impact the steering wheel or dashboard. However, the chest area will still experience a high level of force against the shoulder harness or seat belt. And this can definitely cause some severe bruising.
Arms and legs
The car accident has a similar consequence on the occupant’s arms and legs as in case of head injuries. In case the car suffers a side impact, your arms and legs can be thrown hard against the door. And when you are sitting in the car as a passenger, your legs usually have not much room for movement. What usually happens is that the occupant’s knees hit the dashboard or seats in front of them. And it depends: you might leave the car with a couple of bruises or scrapes on your legs and arms. However, take into consideration that sprains and even breaks can occur.
The scary part is that some injuries are not readily apparent after the car accident. It can take days, weeks and even months for the symptoms to appear. So it is highly recommended to seek medical treatment after you were in a car accident. Don’t try to act all tough and pretend that you are fine. If you feel even the slightest discomfort go see a doctor. Moreover, do some research and find out how to avoid a car accident and what to do if one has occurred. After all, you need to be prepared.