An estimated 1.25 million people die in car accidents every year, with an additional 20-50 million left injured or disabled. The dangers of the road are unavoidable but can be minimized with the proper precautions.
Common car accident injuries can leave you out of the job, in pain, and possibly permanently dealing with the consequences. If you are properly prepared, however, you can prevent them or at least minimize the damage.
Read on for our most common car accident injuries and how to prevent them.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the most common car accident injuries sustained from a collision. This type of accident injury involves damage to the body’s connective tissue, which includes ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
One of the most common car accident injuries to soft tissues is whiplash. It affects the soft tissue of the neck and upper back when sudden movement causes the ligaments to stretch.
Other soft tissue injuries from accidents include muscle sprains and certain types of back injuries. You can better your chances of avoiding these common car accident injuries by wearing your seatbelt and keeping your head and back against the seat at all times.
More common car accident injuries involve trauma to the head and can range in severity. While sudden, unexpected jolts from an accident can injure the neck, the resulting impacts can hurt the head and brain, as well.
Depending on the severity of the injury, head injuries from car accidents can result in major or minor concussions. In the worst cases, they result in permanent brain damage.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to do to prevent this type of accident injury. However, if you’re driving a motorcycle, it is extremely important to always wear a helmet.
Cuts or Scrapes
Cuts and scrapes are also common car accident injuries. These can occur from flying objects, broken glass, or colliding with parts of either vehicle during the accident.
While it is impossible to completely prevent cuts and scrapes from an accident, you can take measures to minimize your risk. Don’t leave loose items on your dashboard or anywhere else where they could go flying in the event of a collision. Also, try to keep your vehicle interior clear of clutter and large items.
Bruises or Internal Bleeding
Bruises and internal bleeding occur from sharp and sudden impact. While many bruises are minor and will heal on their own, excessive internal bleeding can be dangerous.
To minimize your risk of these common car accident injuries, wear your seatbelt at all times. This will lower your chances of colliding with anything.
Broken bones are common injuries from car accidents. These occur when impact and trauma cause you to bend unnaturally and fracture your bones. Although not much can be done to prevent them, keep your seatbelt on and sit up straight when you’re riding in a vehicle.
How to Avoid Common Car Accident Injuries
Although there are ways to minimize your risk of injury, the best way to avoid common car accident injuries is to take precautions while driving. In addition to wearing your seatbelt, there are a number of other cautious measures to take when you’re on the road.
- Drive defensively. No matter how careful of a driver you are, you are still vulnerable to the mistakes of others on the road. Pay close attention to your surroundings and don’t assume that other people will obey the law or give you the right of way.
- Don’t get distracted while driving. Keep your passengers in check and pull over if you need to calm your kids or break up a fight. Be sure your eyes are always on the road.
- Don’t use your phone while driving. One out of every four car accidents in the U.S. each year is caused by texting and driving. Whatever it is, it can wait until you’ve arrived at your destination safely.
- Don’t drink and drive. Drunk drivers are much more likely to cause accidents, common car accident injuries, and even deaths. Designate a driver before you start drinking, don’t drive drunk, and don’t get in the car with someone who’s been drinking.
- Avoid driving if you’re fatigued. You need to be alert while driving in order to respond adequately and stay safe. Falling asleep at the wheel creates an extremely hazardous situation for you and others on the road, increasing your risk of car accident injuries.
- Watch out for motorcycles on the road. In an accident, a motorcyclist is the most vulnerable to common car accident injuries. If you are the one riding the motorcycle, be careful to remain visible to the cars on the road and wear protective gear to minimize your risk of injuries from motorcycle accidents.
- Always use your turn signal. You want other drivers on the road to know what you’re doing at all times in order to avoid rear-end collisions. This type of collision is responsible for a lot of common car accident injuries, especially whiplash.
- Don’t drive with headphones on. These can distract you and prevent you from listening to your surroundings. You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you in order to avoid an accident.
- Don’t lose control of your vehicle. If you start to skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid to regain control. Also, don’t overcorrect if you drift off the road; this places you at risk for flipping your car over, which can lead to devastating car accident injuries.
- Be sure to properly maintain your vehicle. Get routine oil changes and brake checks to ensure everything works as it should. Check brake lights and headlights regularly, too.
What to Do If You Have an Auto Accident Injury
If you encounter any of the above common car accident injuries, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if it doesn’t seem that bad at first, a lot of injuries can worsen over time if left untreated.
If you do become injured from an accident, it’s important to learn more about your right to compensation from it. Lost wages, medical bills, and pain from car accidents are all things you can sue for if you’re not at fault for the accident.
Although car accidents are an inevitable result of driving, there are things you can do to prevent common car accident injuries. By driving safe and staying aware of your surroundings, you’re much more likely to avoid getting hurt.
For more injury advice, check out our blog.