Most of the millions of auto accident injuries that occur every year in the United States require only minor medical care. While bumps, bruises and scratches heal in a few days, some car accident injuries cause lifelong disability.
Review some of the most common car accident injuries and the factors that contribute to the severity of these issues.
Types of common injuries
Most auto accident injuries result from penetration or impact. With penetration injury, loose objects, debris or glass within the vehicle enters the body. This type of injury can cause lacerations, blood loss or broken bones.
Impact injuries occur when the person’s body collides with the interior of the vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries, which can cause major chronic health issues, often result from impact. Some people also experience whiplash from the impact of sudden forces to the head, neck and spine. Chronic back pain often results from whiplash injuries.
Either impact or penetration can cause chest injuries in an auto accident. The person can experience broken ribs and other internal injuries.
Factors that impact severity
Drivers and passengers will likely experience more severe injuries if:
- The car did not have airbags.
- The crash occurred at high speed.
- The injured person was not facing straight ahead in his or her seat.
- The injured person did not wear a seatbelt.
The part of the car that suffered the main impact also influences the severity of occupant injuries. Taking safety measures such as wearing a seatbelt, securing loose items within the vehicle and traveling at a reasonable speed can reduce the risk of significant injury in a car crash.