The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that over 3 million people are injured in car accidents annually. Car accidents can’t always be avoided, but it can be helpful to be aware of the most common injuries that occur. When you understand what those injuries are, the NY defensive driving techniques and safety recommendations that are taught make a lot of sense. Here are the top five injuries that occur in car accidents.
1. Neck Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most frequent injuries drivers suffer from when in a car accident. Whiplash occurs when a collision forces the head to jolt forward or to the side suddenly, depending on the position of the impact. The ligaments of the neck are stretched and/or torn, resulting in extreme pain and loss of movement. While most cases of whiplash heal with proper therapy, some cases lead to more serious conditions, such as disc herniation. Cars are fitted with head backrests, which are designed to prevent the head from being thrown backward in the event of sudden impact. Removing this headrest puts passengers more at risk of whiplash.
2. Physical Trauma Due to Impact
Students of physics know that a body in motion wants to stay in motion. When a car that is traveling forward is stopped suddenly be an obstacle, the bodies of the passengers in the car are also moving forward until they are stopped suddenly. Passengers who aren’t wearing a seat belt will continue to go forward, often through the front windshield. If the collision occurs from one side, that passenger will be propelled to the side and possibly out the window, with considerable force. The impact of the body smashing through the window causes physical trauma that can be fatal or life altering. This is one of the main reasons why wearing a seat belt is strongly encouraged.
3. Leg and Knee Injury
When a car is impacted from the front or side, the frame of the car can get smashed into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In instances like this, legs and knees can be severely gashed, bruised, broken or worse. One small step you can take as protective measure is to always wear shoes when driving or riding in a vehicle. This will provide some protection for your feet and toes. While there is no way to guarantee against this occurrence in the event of an unexpected accident, taking a defensive driving course could significantly reduce the likelihood of being t-boned or hit head-on by a reckless motorist.
4. Back Injuries
Your back and spine can be severely affected after experiencing a car accident. With these types of injuries, sometimes the pain and swelling doesn’t occur until after you’ve returned home and the adrenalin in your body has dissipated. Being so, you should be careful about extreme movement after being in an auto accident. Move slowly and deliberately until you’ve had a chance to determine if your back or spine is injured. In addition, if you are at the scene of an accident, don’t instigate movement in any passenger from the accident, as their back or spine could be injured. During your NY online defensive driving course, you’ll learn more about how to avoid car accidents by being a defensive driver.
Concussion is where the brain is knocked up against the inside of the skull. Ordinarily, the brain is almost floating inside a protective barrier. When sudden impact occurs against the head, however, the brain can get hit against the head, causing the injured person to experience concussion symptoms such as memory loss or other brain damage. Obviously, it’s impractical to wear a helmet while driving, but you can enroll in a NY defensive driving course to improve your odds of avoiding a car accident in the first place.