Car accidents can happen in all sorts of ways. Factors that contribute to the severity of an accident include each vehicle’s size, speed, angle of impact, and whether events such as a rollover or shattered glass occurred.
Because there are so many ways for an accident to happen, they can also cause many kinds of injuries. That said, there are a few types of injuries that motorists and passengers alike sustain more frequently in any given car accident.
Let’s go over five of these below.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the aftermath of a bad car crash, but car accidents are actually the leading cause of TBI. Every year, as many as 50,000 people throughout the U.S. die from TBI, while nearly twice as many suffer from long-term disability.
TBI can result from a car accident when someone suffers a head injury. Oftentimes head injuries occur when someone’s head strikes an object (or vice versa), but sometimes TBI can occur when the brain slams against the skull in a forceful impact. Although someone’s head may not have made contact with anything hard, the brain can experience bruising, bleeding, and other damage merely because of the force exerted upon it.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Second to TBI and head injuries, car accidents also frequently cause spinal cord injuries. The impact of a collision can contort the body with intense force that can herniate discs in the spine and cause other kinds of damage. In severe cases, nerve damage and even paralysis can occur as the result of a car accident spinal cord injury.
Severe car accidents can break a lot of glass and twist a lot of metal. When drivers come into contact with sharp materials during a car accident, they can experience intense lacerations that require immediate medical attention.
4. Broken or Fractured Bones
Our bones are strong, but sometimes the force of a car accident is strong enough to fracture or break them. Bones that are most at risk include the wrists, ankles, arms, legs, and ribs. The skull is also vulnerable, even if airbags deploy in time to prevent contact with a hard surface.
5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Finally, many drivers who are involved in car accidents experience some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a mental and emotional injury that can make it hard to get back behind the wheel after becoming injured in a car accident. While many drivers can overcome PTSD on their own, others may require professional assistance to help them cope with the lingering trauma of a car accident.