When a car accident happens there is no way to predict exactly what kinds of injuries those involved might sustain. In some fortunate instances everyone might walk away from the accident unscathed, but this is sadly not generally the case. There are some common injuries that are typically caused by this kind of accident. It is estimated that over three million people in the United States will be injured in car accidents every year. Some of these injuries are fairly insignificant and will heal on their own in a short period of time. However, some injuries can be life-changing or at least have far-reaching consequences for those involved.
When we talk about injuries sustained during a vehicle accident, they are typically separated into two categories. They are impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Additionally we can look at auto accident injuries in terms of the part of the body that has been affected.
When any part of a driver or passengers body hits another part of the car or another passenger, an impact injury is likely to occur. Common examples are when the knees collide with the dashboard or when a head hits the seat in front.
Penetrating injuries are generally caused when the windows shatter and this window glass comes into contact with someone inside the car, causing an injury. This injury is most likely to be a cut or a scrape and can vary in seriousness. Items inside of the car, such as cups, phones, glasses etc can also cause penetrating injuries, especially if these items are broken into several pieces during the crash. When a penetrating injury takes place, the potential for loss of blood exists and it is likely that a person could require stitches to help the injury to heal.
Although airbags exist to protect the driver and front-seat passenger, they can also cause cuts and scrapes if they impact the body in a certain way.
Soft Tissue Injuries
A soft tissue injury is the most common type of car accident injury. This is when the connective tissue in the body is damaged, such as the muscles, the ligaments or the tendons. Whiplash is perhaps the most well-known type of soft tissue injury and affects the neck and upper back. When a very sudden movement, such as a car crash, impacts the head and neck, then the muscles in this area will be sprained. When a person experiences whiplash they will generally have pain in the neck and their motion in this area will be decreased. Headaches can also develop and be felt from the base of the skull all the way to the forehead. It can take anywhere between a few days and a few months for whiplash to heal completely.
When the head is injured during a car accident this can become quite serious. This is because the brain is obviously one of the most important parts of the body. If the head impacts with another person, or a part of the car, then a closed head injury can happen, meaning the tissue and the fluid inside of the skull can be damaged. The severity of a closed head injury can range from a mild concussion to serious brain damage.
The chest is an area that is commonly injured in a car crash. When the chest experiences this kind of impact, contusions and bruises are likely to occur. However, ribs can also be broken and further internal injuries can be suffered. The driver is the most likely person in a car to suffer from a chest injury in the event of a crash due to their position behind the steering wheel.
Leg and Arm Injuries
When you are seated in a car, as a passenger or a driver, the movement of your legs and arms is quite restricted. This means that you have very little control over your body in the event of a crash. It is likely that your legs and arms will be harmed by the sides of the car or the seat in front you. This damage can also be caused by the steering wheel or dashboard, depending on where you are sitting. The health of these limbs is essential if you are to continue to enjoy the range of movement and general function that you currently have.
When you are in a car accident your injuries might not be immediately apparent. Some injuries take days or weeks to make themselves known, and this is all the more true of internal injuries that you can’t actually see. This means that it is always important to seek medical attention following a car crash, even if you do not feel like you need urgent treatment.
At Onto Orthopedics we specialise in the treatment of injuries sustained during auto accidents. Our team of experts always strive to ensure that they recognise any injuries experienced during a car crash as quickly as possible in order to offer the best possible chance of a full recovery.