According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, automobile crashes are the number one cause of death over the first three decades in the lives of Americans. In 2015, car accidents killed over 35,000 people, which translates to an average of approximately 96 people per day. Injuries sustained in auto accidents send more than 2.3 million people to hospital emergency rooms every year.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
With literally millions of car accident-related injuries each year in America alone, one might start to wonder what are the most common injuries incurred in auto accidents. Ranging from minor to deadly, continue reading to learn more about the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents, including:
- Head and facial injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
Head and Facial Injuries
Based on national statistics, it has been estimated that between 50-70% of all accidents which cause a traumatic brain injury are the result of an automobile crash. The head and face are particularly vulnerable during an auto accident because they are not directly secured by the use of a seat belt the same way the torso is, and the fact that they are uncovered (unlike your body which is covered by clothes) leave them susceptible to broken windshield glass and other pieces of debris.
Head injuries can range in severity from mild cuts and scrapes to potentially life-threatening trauma to the brain. If the brain is injured during an automobile crash, it can cause bleeding and swelling, which can prove to be very dangerous to the victim.
The muscles and bones of the neck are particularly vulnerable to high speed impacts, and whiplash is one of the most common diagnoses in the event of an accident, with more than 3 million new cases documented each year. Even more tragically, over 50% of sufferers endure some level of chronic symptoms for years, and some even for life. Whiplash injuries are five times more likely to impact women than men, and whiplash injuries happen most frequently to people between the ages of 30 and 50.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
During a car accident at high speeds, it is not uncommon for the back to experience strains, sprains, herniated discs and even vertebral fractures, though these severe injuries are most frequently associated with people who have chosen not to wear their seatbelt. Back injuries suffered in car accidents can be very painful and can significantly limit a person’s movement.
Based on data from the Mayo Clinic, car and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, contributing to almost half of new spinal cord injuries each year. In severe cases, the spinal cord can be injured, including bone fragment displacement and tearing of the spinal cord tissue. In these tragic situations, victims may experience a complete loss of bodily function when their spinal cord becomes bruised or severed.
Despite being the portion of the body that is most protected by seatbelts, the chest is almost as vulnerable to car accident injuries as the rest of the body. The causes of car accident chest pain come in many forms, and can range from seat belt injuries, steering wheel injuries, muscle straining/tension, and anxiety-induced panic attacks, not to mention the uncommon instances where an accident can trigger an actual heart attack.
Count on Chiropractic After an Auto Accident
If you or a loved one have sustained an injury to any part of your body during a car accident, you know all about the negative impacts they can have on your body and mind, which makes it vital that these injuries be addressed by an experienced auto accident physician to help determine what’s wrong and the best course of action for treatment.
Visiting an auto injury clinic near you is your best option in this situation, as they employ doctors who specialize in the types of injuries most common to car crashes, including neck and back injuries. You will receive customized treatment which will help the body heal completely and naturally, avoiding the risks and side effects that medications and surgeries are known for.