5 Types of car accident injuries and what to do about them
From the moment you learn to drive, one of the main things you will try to avoid is being involved in a road traffic incident, however if you do here are five types of car accident injuries and how to deal with them
- Neck injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury and occurs when the muscles and ligaments are stretched from sudden movement of the head and neck in the collision. Symptoms of whiplash include pain and stiffness in the neck as well as headaches. Whiplash can generally be treated with rest, ice or heat and pain medications. In more severe cases, prescription medications or muscle relaxants may be used.
- Back injuries. Back injuries are common in car accidents. Specifically, herniated disks can occur. The sudden movement and stress that occurs on the spinal column during a collision causes one of the disks to separate from the vertebrae. Generally, the pain from a herniated disk can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, but more severe pain may require prescription painkillers. Other back injuries that can occur involve direct damage to the spinal cord, which can cause nerve damage. This may lead to reduced sensation and control of arms, hands, feet, legs, etc.
- Head injuries. Head injuries often occur in car accidents due to the head striking the steering wheel, dashboard or windows. This impact can cause traumatic brain injuries that can range from concussions to comas. Head injuries can also lead to other problems such as vision and hearing difficulties. Signs that a possible traumatic brain injury has occurred include, but are not limited to, confusion, dizziness, vision changes, headache, memory loss, and nausea. If a head injury is suspected, get medical attention. Untreated head injuries can lead to long-term problems and disabilities.
- Broken bones. Broken bones can occur in a car accident when your body is thrown against the interior of the vehicle or if thrown out of the vehicle due to not wearing the seatbelt. Common bones broken include arms, legs, and bones in the hands or feet. Facial fractures can also occur if the head is slammed against the steering wheel during the collision. Airbags can also cause broken bones. Although the airbags protect drivers and passengers from more serious injuries, the force of the airbag could cause facial or chest injuries. In the case of any broken bone, professional medical attention is necessary for X-rays, any needed surgery, and a cast for the broken bone.
- Leg and knee injuries. Another common injury that occurs in a car crash is injuries to the leg or knee. Minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, can occur to the legs during a car crash, which will generally heal on their own. However, more serious leg and knee injuries can occur when a driver or passenger is thrown forward and the knee hits the dashboard or seats in front of them. An injury known as “dashboard knee” can occur, in which the patella, or kneecap, is fractured. General sprains or breaks in the leg can also occur, which would require medical attention, as discussed above.