By: Julia Evans
Not medically reviewed by Erin Stair, MD, MPH
Although you personally might be a safe driver, there is no guarantee that everyone else on the road is the same, and so, unfortunately, car crashes happen a lot more than they should. Some accidents might just be a small scrape, whereas others can cause more lasting damage. If you ever find yourself in a collision, find a New York car accident lawyer to speak to for further information. Here are some of the most common car crash injuries.
When your car (and therefore your body) is moving at an accelerated speed and suddenly has to stop, especially if your car has been hit from behind, you are likely to experience whiplash. The injury is usually within the muscles, ligaments, or tendons of the neck and can be incredibly painful. It can take a long while to heal fully, and some people find that they get chronic pain in the area for years after.
Your rib cage protects vital organs such as your lungs and heart; however, your ribs are also surprisingly fragile, and the impact of your airbag or seatbelt during a collision can cause them to break. Broken ribs are incredibly painful, and there is little that can be done to help them set, other than providing you with lots of pain relief and rest.
Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
Whether from banging your head on the steering wheel, or a loose projectile in the car such as your keys, cuts can be incredibly common in car crash injuries. Small scratches and scrapes might not need any treatment beyond basic first aid; however, deeper lacerations or cuts that won’t stop bleeding will need medical attention. It’s important that open wounds are kept clean, and pressure is applied to help them clot.
Head injuries can be incredibly dangerous if they have caused internal damage, as this might not be seen immediately and can cause long-term complications for the future. It is important to be aware of hitting your head, and even if you feel well immediately after the crash, you should be aware of symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and double vision, as these may be a sign that there is more damage internally.
Another example of an injury that might not be immediately obvious; internal bleeding is incredibly dangerous and can be life-threatening. A medical professional should check you over to assess whether you have any internal bleeding and what treatment you require.
Many car crashes will just leave the drivers feeling a little shaken, and their confidence knocked, but it is important to be aware of the injuries that can happen. It’s easy to get a little complacent when we drive so often, but a momentary lapse of concentration or a distraction can have devastating consequences, so it’s vital to always be aware of your surroundings when you are driving, to save yourself from any of the painful injuries we’ve listed above.