With more than 225 million licensed drivers on the roads, it’s no surprise that car accidents are the leading cause of injury in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 2.7 million auto accident injuries and 36,000 fatalities in 2018 alone.
Suffice it to say, car accidents are both dangerous and common. You might be wondering, what types of injuries occur most frequently, and what causes them?
Common Car Accident Injuries
Every accident is unique, but certain injuries tend to occur more than others. They include:
- Whiplash: A common outcome in rear-end crashes, whiplash is a neck injury resulting from a sudden back-and-forth movement of the head. The symptoms of whiplash — neck pain, stiffness, headaches, upper back pain, dizziness, fatigue, and tinnitus — are not always immediately apparent, so it’s important to undergo medical evaluation after an accident, even if you feel fine.
- Head Injuries: Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), or sudden damage to the brain resulting from a jolt or blow to the head. Concussions, one of the most common forms of TBI, may lead to symptoms such as confusion, headache, temporary loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Survivors of TBI often must cope with long-term effects such as impaired thinking, sensation, and movement.
- Chest Injuries: Chest injuries can range in severity from mild (such as bruises and contusions) to severe (such as broken ribs and internal injuries). These injuries often occur when the driver’s chest collides with the steering wheel, or the driver’s forward momentum is halted by the seat belt.
- Arm and Leg Injuries: In a side-impact crash, a driver or passenger’s limbs may be thrown against the door with tremendous force. Arm and leg injuries generally include scrapes, bruises, sprains, and broken bones.
Causes of Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are typically the result of human error. Some of the most common mistakes that lead to injury include:
- Distracted Driving: Far and away the leading cause of auto accidents, distracted driving refers to anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. This includes texting, talking on the phone, playing with the GPS, and eating.
- Drunk Driving: According to the NHTSA, drunk driving accidents claim more than 10,000 lives in the U.S. every year.
- Speeding: According to data from the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018.
- Reckless Driving: Maneuvers such as changing lanes quickly without signaling, tailgating, and cutting off other drivers can lead to devastating accidents.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can have profound effects on your physical, financial, and emotional well-being. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important that you speak to a car accident lawyer to maximize your chance of recovering financial compensation. Morgan & Morgan has a long history of helping auto accident victims achieve justice and financial stability. Over the course of 35-plus years, we’ve helped our clients earn more than $15 billion.
Find out how we can help you by scheduling a free case evaluation. It costs nothing to get started, and we get paid only if your case is successful. Get started today.