Car accidents result in roughly forty-thousand deaths per year. With the number of vehicles on the road continually rising it may come as a surprise that this statistic is reported so little. Car crashes that are not fatal can result in a number of horrifying and long-term injuries.
Car Accident Injuries
Here’s a brief look at a few of the grim possibilities for someone in a serious accident:
- Seat belt injuries: A jarring impact with another vehicle typically causes your seat belt to wrench your torso backwards. This is exactly what a seat belt is designed to do, and while the trade-off is highly favorable, injuries to one’s neck and back are very common during a serious accident. Even if no bones are broken in the process, these injuries are extremely painful and can take months to properly recover from. Seat belt burn is also a common occurrence, especially on areas where the seat belt impacts against bare skin on the neck. These injuries often remain visible for very long periods of time and may never heal completely without plastic surgery if the damage is severe enough. While either of these injuries can be serious the use of a seat belt protects the user from more extreme forms of damage.
- Neck injuries, back injuries, and broken bones: Since so many factors play into the impact of two vehicles, the outcomes vary from case to case. Broken collar bones, arms, ribs, vertebrae, and bones in the arms and legs are still very common. Even in situations where actual breaking does not occur, areas can still suffer trauma, and in the case of damage to the back or neck can result in spinal cord injuries. A severed or pinched spinal cord can make it difficult for the victim to perform everyday tasks such as standing or walking, and in many cases the injury is permanent.
- Brain/head trauma: The worst outcome of a car accident is an injury to the brain. The most common form of injury to the head during a car accident is known as a closed head injury, which results when the skull suffers a severe impact. Fluids and brain matter are not stationary inside the skull, and a major impact can often cause multiple impacts on a victim’s brain. These impacts can cause capillaries to burst, and direct contact with blood cells is fatal to a person’s brain cells. The result is widespread damage across the cerebral cortex and loss of cognitive and emotional functioning. These injuries are common among people who fail to wear seat belts. Injuries to the brain represent permanent losses of neurological functioning.
More information on injuries and consequences of car accidents may be found here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/CIREN