The National Safety Council reported that 5.4 million injuries requiring medical attention resulted from auto accidents in 2021. The injuries from crashes can vary widely in type and severity.
While each collision is unique, certain injuries tend to occur frequently.
Traumatic brain injuries often result from a sudden impact or jolt to the head. Even a mild TBI, such as a concussion, can have lasting effects on cognitive function and mental well-being. Symptoms may include confusion, memory loss, headaches and mood changes.
Chest injuries can occur when the body hits the steering wheel or dashboard. These injuries can range from bruising and contusions to broken ribs or internal organ damage. The force of the collision determines the extent of the damage.
Fractures and broken bones can affect various parts of the body, including arms, legs and ribs. The severity of fractures depends on factors like speed, point of impact and the use of safety devices, such as seat belts.
Back injuries may include sprains, strains and herniated discs. The force of the collision can cause the spine to twist or hyperextend, resulting in back pain and limited mobility. The damage may be severe enough to cause a lasting negative impact on nerves, or, if the spinal cord suffers damage, it can lead to paralysis.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries encompass a range of injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons. These injuries often cause pain, swelling and limited range of motion. A prevalent soft tissue injury is whiplash, which occurs when the head forcefully jerks backward and then forward. It is a strain on the neck’s muscles and ligaments. Symptoms of such injuries may not immediately manifest.
Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, are also prevalent after car accidents. The emotional trauma of a collision can have lasting effects on an individual’s mental health, impacting their ability to drive or even ride in a vehicle without heightened anxiety.
With any injury after a car accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention. Since some conditions may not be immediately recognizable, it is a good idea for anyone in a crash to at least get a check-up from a healthcare professional.