According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die each year from road accidents. Meanwhile, between 20 and 50 million people experience non-fatal injuries, with many of these injuries causing permanent disability.
Vehicular injuries differ from one person to another, but some injuries are more common than others. The injuries people suffer depend on whether the vehicle was hit from behind, the side, or the front.
Furthermore, it also depends on whether the injured person was wearing a seatbelt. Other considerations include the presence or absence of airbags in the car and the speed at which the impact occurs. Read along to learn more about common vehicular injuries.
Table of Contents
1. Back Injuries
Back injuries are one of the worst types of pain you can experience. If ignored, these types of injuries can cause permanent disability. The major types of back injuries are:
- Strain And Sprain
A back strain occurs when your soft tissue stretches excessively, causing damage to the tendons connecting bones to muscles. A back sprain, on the other hand, causes damage to the ligaments connecting joints to bones or bones to other bones.
- Herniated Discs
During an accident, your back discs can move and compress the nerves, causing a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the inner section of the spinal disc pushes through the outer ring.
- Lumbar Or Back fractures
A spinal fracture is when the vertebrae crack, break, or are damaged.
Other back injuries include spondylolisthesis, facet joint injuries, discogenic pain, degenerative spinal disorders, and nerve damage. Luckily, this post explains what to do if you have back pain after an accident.
2. Broken Bones
Heavy collisions in an accident can result in broken bones. This usually happens when the force exerted on your body is more than the bones can handle. Broken bones are extremely painful and take a long time to heal. However, the recovery period depends on the extent of the breakage and which bones are broken.
Meanwhile, broken bones can be categorized into simple fractures and major fractures. Simple fractures are broken bones that don’t penetrate the skin. On the other hand, major fractures are compound broken bones that penetrate the skin. Hence, they can only be treated through surgery and should be performed within 24 hours to avoid bacterial infection around the injury.
People in vehicle accidents can get burn injuries when they come in contact with hot engine parts or spraying liquids. In some cases, the entire vehicle might burst into flames causing life-threatening burns all over the body or even death.
Burns are generally categorized into:
- First Degree: This is when the burns cause minimal damage, the skin appears to be red but not blistered.
- Second Degree: Here, the damage is beyond the top layer of the skin. This type of burn can take about two weeks to heal.
- Third Degree: The burn damages all layers of the skin and destroys the tissue and nerves beneath the skin. This may take several months to recover, but the skin won’t recover to its original state; it looks leathery brown or white.
- Fourth Degree: The burn penetrates beyond the skin to the underlying muscles, fat, and bones. This burn can result in amputation or even death; the skin function never returns and looks black and charred.
4. Scrapes And Cuts
In a vehicle accident, any loose debris inside the car, including cell phones, glasses, loose metal parts, airbags, coffee mugs, etc., can lead to severe injuries. Of course, most scrapes and cuts are minor and require no treatment, but heavy collisions can cause serious cuts that will require stitching.
Bruises are rarely serious and may heal without medical attention. They can be caused by the seat belts or even the airbags. Although bruises are harmless, monitoring them after an accident is crucial as they may indicate something worse.
For example, a bruise after an accident that develops into a hematoma or contusion may be a sign of internal bleeding. At the same time, head bruises can signify the presence of brain injury, which can escalate quickly when ignored.
Here are some signs that bruises may indicate other serious injuries:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Headaches and vision issues
- Not improving after a week
- Intense swelling and pain
- Loss of motion, weakness, or numbness
- Fever, racing pulse, or impaired vision
6. Internal Bleeding
This type of injury occurs when blood vessels rupture. A damaged blood vessel can lead to internal bleeding or clots inside the body that prevents blood flow. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening and is hard to detect. As such, it’s advisable to see a doctor after an accident, even without any visible injuries.
These are some of the common injuries from vehicular accidents. Just remember that some injuries might take time to show up—it might take days, weeks, or months to appear. So, in the case of an accident, seek medical assistance for a full body checkup.