A car crash, however minor, may cause long-term damage. That’s the reason why those who are involved in a car accident should have themselves checked as soon as possible. A medical check-up is a mandatory procedure even if they don’t feel immediate pain or have no visible signs of injuries such as bruises and scrapes.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, an estimated 38,000 persons die in US road accidents annually. At this rate, vehicle collisions, whether head-on, rear-end, or side-impact crashes are the leading cause of unnatural deaths for persons. This makes roads and highways hazardous places.
People who are involved in a car collision may suffer either one or a few of these common injuries caused by a car crash:
- Shoulder Injuries
Because of the driving position where your hands are resting on the steering wheel, your shoulders are subjected to absorb the full impact of the crash. This makes your shoulders highly susceptible to injuries. Shoulder injuries from a car accident may include minor cases such a shoulder sprain or become more serious such as a torn rotator cuff, shoulder joint tears, shoulder dislocation. You could check here for more signs that you need to see a doctor after a road accident.
- Broken Ribs And Other Forms Of Fractures
Your ribcage exists merely to protect your internal organs. However, unlike the skull, it’s less tough. In fact, a light impact from a car crash which may push you sideward, backward, or forward, may cause fractured ribs.
Generally speaking, your bones are quite resilient. However, if the impact of the car crash is too much to bear, it will break. Apart from your ribcage, the bones in your arms, legs and hips, as well as shoulders, may suffer from fractures.
- Neck Injuries
Because of the sudden and strong impact, the driver and car passengers involved in an accident may suffer from neck injuries. Otherwise known as whiplash, it refers to muscle, ligament and tendon injuries in the neck area, the part of your body which is most vulnerable during road crashes. Neck fractures, cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains, are possible.
- Wrist And Hand Injuries
Depending on the position of your hand at the time of the impact, you may have a broken wrist, also known as a fracture of the distal radius bone, a sprain of the wrist, or bruises and cuts on the hand. Severe wrist and hand injuries may require surgery. Your auto insurance may be able to cover the medical costs.
- Knee Injuries
Injuries to the knee is one of the few types of damage that isn’t as visible as the other damages. Knee problems are often triggered by your knees crashing towards the dashboard or steering wheel. In this relation, your knee may be fractured or dislocated. Your knees may be in an awkward position during the impact, and you may suffer from ligament and meniscus tears and damages.
- Head Injuries
Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which may be one of the most perilous after-effects of a road crash caused by possible driver’s negligence. If not detected early or if left untreated, these may cause serious injuries that can negatively impact your overall functions and sensation. Mild cases of traumatic brain injuries and the most common injury in vehicle collisions are called concussions. Another common TBI in car crashes is a bruise in the brain, more commonly known as a contusion—which typically results from blows from a sharp object. Serious brain and head injuries can land a person in a coma.
- Foot And Ankle Injuries
Strains, sprains, and fractures on your feet, ankle, and toes, are quite common in car collisions. In more serious crashes, your feet and toes may have to be amputated.
The National Center for Biotechnology discovered that 76% of all foot and ankle injuries are caused by head-on car collisions. Such a type of car accident takes a toll on your lower limbs, and your foot and ankles are typically the first to absorb the impact.
This doesn’t mean that other types of collisions don’t cause these types of injuries though, as side-impacts and roll-overs cause the remaining 21% incidents of foot and ankle injuries.
- Facial Injuries
The impact from the road crash may result in small, broken pieces of the glass from the windshield, or the plastic from the dashboard. These parts may land on any part of your body – on your neck, hands, wrist, legs, chest, even on your face. When this happens, you may suffer from facial cuts, wounds, lacerations, and bruising. Despite being classified as mild injuries, they may get infected, if not properly cared for.
In some cases, facial injuries may become serious and cause disfigurement. To address the issue, a surgical correction may need to be performed.
The Bottom Line
Car crashes may cause serious injuries. While you may not be able to control other drivers’ behavior, practice extreme caution when driving, and always wear seatbelts for your own safety.