What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident?

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Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 37,000 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017 alone – an average of over 100 deaths each day. In addition to these fatalities, millions of people sustain injuries from car accidents every year. But what are some of the most common types of injuries that result from automobile collisions? After reviewing research on car accident-related injuries, this article will provide insight into the most frequent types of physical harm sustained due to auto accidents.

The majority of individuals who suffer serious injury as a result of a car crash experience some form of blunt trauma or soft tissue injury. Whiplash is one example; it occurs when the force generated by a collision causes the neck muscles and ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. The sudden jerking motion associated with whiplash can lead to chronic pain and stiffness in the neck area. Other common symptoms include headaches, shoulder pain, blurred vision, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.

Another type of injury commonly seen after car accidents is broken bones. Broken arms and legs are particularly common among victims involved in high speed collisions across multiple lanes or intersections since they often occur at a greater intensity than single lane rear-end impacts. Further complicating matters is the fact that many fractures may not be immediately visible following an accident but can still worsen if left untreated for extended periods without proper medical care and immobilization techniques such as casts or splints being applied quickly enough after an incident has occurred.


Whiplash injury is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. It occurs when the neck and head are thrown violently forward and backward, resulting in soft tissue damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck area. Symptoms can include pain and stiffness in the neck, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, tingling or numbness around arms or shoulders. Whiplash is classified as a type of neck injury which can occur even at low speeds due to force of impact involved. Other types of neck injuries may be present depending on severity of the collision including fractures and other soft tissue damages such as muscle sprains or strains. Treatment for whiplash includes physical therapy exercises that help reduce inflammation and improve range of motion. Medications used to treat this condition include anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants along with lifestyle modifications like avoiding activities that could worsen symptoms.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are some of the most common injuries that can occur in a car accident. Depending on the type and severity of the crash, broken bones can range from minor fractures to multiple breaks. In rear end collisions, there is usually an increased risk of neck or back injury due to whiplash. While side impact collisions typically lead to more extensive damage and have a higher rate of broken ribs or limbs resulting from being thrown around inside the vehicle upon impact.

It’s important for individuals involved in any kind of motor vehicle collision to seek medical attention right away as even seemingly mild symptoms may be indicative of serious underlying conditions like internal bleeding or organ trauma. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is key to recovering quickly and avoiding life-threatening complications. Additionally, documenting all relevant information pertaining to the incident such as pictures and police reports will help support any potential claims against those responsible for damages.


Concussions are nothing to shake a stick at. They can be one of the most serious injuries sustained in an automobile accident, second only to broken bones. When a driver or passenger is involved in a collision and experiences sudden impacts from either side, their head can suffer tremendous trauma. Concussions cause traumatic brain injury which has both short-term and long-term effects on mental health and physical wellbeing. Distracted driving accidents commonly lead to concussive events, making it essential that drivers remain cognizant of their surroundings while behind the wheel.

The diagnosis of a concussion requires medical attention since they may not present with symptoms immediately following the event but worsen over time if left untreated. Symptoms like dizziness, nausea, confusion, headaches, fatigue and sensitivity to light should all be assessed by qualified professionals who can accurately diagnose the situation. If a person does sustain a severe enough head injury due to car crash collisions then they might need more extensive treatments such as therapy for psychological trauma or even hospitalization depending upon severity of the issue.

Psychological Trauma

Psychological trauma is a common injury sustained in car accidents. The fear and stress of being involved in an accident can cause emotional distress, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s important to note that not all psychological traumas are the result of motor vehicle collisions; they may be caused by other traumatic events experienced before or after the crash.

It’s widely accepted among medical professionals that psychological trauma resulting from a car accident can have long lasting effects on patients. A study published in 2017 found that over 60% of people who had been involved in a serious motor vehicle collision reported experiencing symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, or difficulty concentrating one year later. This suggests that recovery from psychological trauma following an auto crash can take months or even years depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Given these findings it is clear that psychological trauma should not be overlooked when assessing individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries or back injuries due to motor vehicle accidents. Treatment for this type of injury should include both physical and mental health interventions to ensure full recovery. Additionally, it is important for healthcare providers to screen for signs of PTSD during follow up appointments with patients after their initial assessment has taken place.


The aftermath of a car accident can be devastating, with physical and emotional trauma that may last a lifetime. While the effects vary from person to person, there are some common injuries associated with such an event. Whiplash is one of these, typically caused by rear-end collisions when the neck is forced into sudden motion beyond its normal range. Broken bones are also a frequent outcome, often resulting from blunt force trauma or contact with hard surfaces within the vehicle’s cabin. Concussions may occur due to a blow to the head or sharp jolt during impact and result in temporary confusion and disorientation. Finally, psychological trauma is not uncommon as well; victims may experience anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering through any kind of vehicular mishap.

It cannot be overstated how important it is for drivers to abide by road safety regulations at all times in order to avoid putting themselves and others around them in danger. Taking steps like wearing seatbelts and avoiding distractions while behind the wheel can go a long way toward reducing risk on the roads. Additionally, having proper insurance coverage can provide financial support should an unfortunate incident take place. By understanding what potential risks exist when driving and taking preventive measures accordingly, individuals can help lessen their chances of experiencing these traumatic consequences firsthand.