Did you know that 4.4 million people are injured in road traffic accidents across the United States each year?
This amounts to Americans spending a staggering cumulative 1 million days in hospital each year for the treatment of car accident injuries.
Whilst a number of injuries and their severity are unique to the individual factors of each collision, there are certain injuries that occur more often than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common car accident injuries
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Whiplash is most commonly seen in rear-end impact car accidents, where the head is suddenly and powerfully forced backward and then forwards.
Usually, the symptoms of whiplash improve within a few weeks with nothing more than pain management and rehabilitation exercises.
Still, more severe cases of whiplash can lead to chronic pain and long-lasting complications such as reduced movement and dizzy spells.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can be caused by a blow to the head or a whiplash-type of injury. In both, the brain is pushed suddenly against the inside of the skull and can be bruised.
It is crucial that medical attention is sought after any injury to the head, as the effects of a concussion may not be noticeable immediately.
Common symptoms include nausea, memory loss, dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness.
Most concussions don’t require serious medical treatment and you will most likely need to see a neurologist. However, some can lead to bleeding or severe bruising in the brain and may require surgery.
One of the most common chest injuries following a car accident is a broken rib.
A professional diagnosis is needed to gauge the severity, as the fractured rib could be at risk of causing further damage to internal organs. Most broken ribs are treated through rest and recovery.
Blunt force trauma to the chest can also cause collapsed lungs and internal bleeding.
Broken bones are common in car accidents. Simple breaks may only require casting, whilst more complicated breaks or compound fractures might need surgery.
Broken legs, arms, ribs, wrists, and pelvis fractures are common outcomes of car accidents.
In addition to broken bones, joints and connective tissues are at high risk from car accidents.
Dislocations, contusions, and sprains are common, and whilst they do not require emergency medical treatment they can have a huge impact on an individual’s ability to work following the accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The sheer force generated in a car accident puts the spine at a huge risk. These can range from herniated discs to partial or total paralysis.
A car accident is a highly stressful event. PTSD and other psychiatric disorders can develop as a result of surviving a serious accident.
It is important that timely and effective intervention is sought following a car accident.
Buckle Up and Prevent the Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The severity of car accident injuries can be lessened and even completely avoided by making sure you always wear your seatbelt, seats are adjusted accordingly and that driver assistance technologies are used where possible.