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What Happens to Your Body in a Car Accident?

Car accidents can result in serious harm to those inside the vehicles, even at relatively low speeds. This will explain some of what happens to your body in a car accident.

Types of Crashes and Their Consequences

  • Frontal or head-on crash – Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous types of car accidents. They often happen at high speeds, which increases the severity of injuries. At high speeds, parts of the car can be forced into the passenger cabin, injuring or pinning the driver and passengers. Broken bones, severe lacerations, damage to internal organs, and burns are common injuries in head-on crashes.
  • Rear-end – One of the most common injuries from rear-end crashes is whiplash, which is caused when the force of the crash causes a driver’s head and neck to snap forward and then jerk backward. These sudden movements put tremendous strain on your neck and shoulder muscles. Whiplash can also result in damage to the brain. Other injuries in rear-end crashes include facial disfigurement, damage to the arms, hands, and wrists, and airbag injuries.
  • T-bone – A T-bone crash occurs when a car strikes your vehicle at a perpendicular angle to the direction you’re traveling, forming a “T” shape. These crashes are extremely dangerous because cars offer much less protection on their sides compared to the front or rear. Common T-bone accident injuries include head injuries, neck and back injuries, severe internal injuries, paralysis, and broken bones.
  • Sideswipe – Sideswipe crashes occur when one car impacts or “swipes” the side of another car that is traveling next to it in the same or opposite direction. They’re often the result of the driver not paying attention when merging or changing lanes. Common injuries from sideswipe crashes include whiplash, broken bones in the hands, feet, and legs, spinal cord injuries, and lacerations caused by flying glass from broken windows.
  • Rollover – Rollover crashes are some of the most devastating accidents that can occur. The violent motion of the car rolling over can easily cause severe head trauma and other devastating injuries. Common injuries from rollover crashes include broken bones, damage to internal organs, traumatic brain injuries, and serious lacerations.

Common Injuries

  • Head and brain injuries – Flying glass and other objects can strike or penetrate the skull. Vehicle occupants may also slam their head into fixed objects, like the steering wheel or dashboard. The impact can cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries – The spinal cord can be damaged in a crash, leading to partial or full paralysis.
  • Back and neck injuries – Whiplash and other back and neck injuries are extremely painful. In some cases, they can lead to permanent loss of motion.
  • Shoulder injuries – Damage to one or both shoulders can permanently impact your range of motion, limiting your ability to work and take part in certain activities.
  • Facial injuries – Striking your face on the steering wheel, steering column, any part of the car frame, or an airbag can lead to facial disfigurement and lifetime scarring.
  • Broken bones – Car accidents often result in multiple broken bones. Bones can take months or longer to heal.
  • Internal injuries – Damage to internal organs can be fatal or cause lifetime disabilities.
  • Burns – Burns can happen in car accidents if the vehicle catches on fire or if you find yourself pressed against hot metal. Burns are some of the most painful injuries that you can experience. Scars often last for a lifetime.

Safety Recommendations

  • Always wear a seatbelt. Being ejected from a vehicle can result in severe injuries or death.
  • Be especially careful when crossing through intersections to avoid head-on and T-bone collisions.
  • Make sure to use your turn signals when turning, merging, or changing lanes to avoid sideswipe collisions.
  • Give other drivers plenty of room on the road.
  • Avoid driving when you’re fatigued and know that some medications can make you drowsy.
  • Don’t exceed the speed limit. Speeding may increase the severity of your accident and injuries.
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