The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 3 million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country
The type and severity of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers involved in a car accident depend several factors, such as:
- Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
- Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side or front?
- Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat?
- Was the person’s head or body turned in a certain direction?
- Did the car have airbags?
- Was the person wearing a seat belt?
Each car accident is different and the different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision. However, there are certain types of car collision related-injuries that are more prevalent than others. For example, whiplash; the all too common occurrence after a vehicular collision:
Neck Injuries Such as Whiplash
Whiplash is caused by the head being abruptly thrown forward or sideways and can occur during low or high speed collisions. It is one of the most common injuries occurring during a motor vehicle collision. Whiplash causes injury to the soft tissues of the bone and spinal cord in the neck and back. The motion strains muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond normal range of motion. Some neck injuries such as strains and sprains, could resolve within months after a collision. Others such as disc herniation or ligament tears can lead to long lasting pain and suffering. This could require years of therapy or even corrective surgery to resolve.
Whiplash Symptoms Include:
- Stiffness/neck pain
- Dizziness (nausea/vomit)
- Problems thinking or remembering
- Numbness and tingling (arms, face, shoulders)
- Jaw pain, lower back pain, hip pain
- Impaired vision
Several factors contribute to whiplash-related injuries, such as:
- History of neck pain or injury
- Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Tall drivers/occupants and head restraint geometry
Whiplash can be Prevented
The correct adjustment and proper use of a head restraint is one of the best ways to prevent whiplash-related injuries is. A properly adjusted head restraint protects against whiplash, and the potential for long-term injury, especially during rear collisions. The height of a restraint coupled with the gap between the head and restraint are critical in determining the risk of injury. A correctly adjusted head restraint should be level with the top of the driver’s ears or higher with minimal distance between the back of the head and the head rest. Believe it or not, research indicates that during normal driving, if all adjustable head restraints were adjusted to the correct l height, then a reduction of 28.3% in whiplash injuries and a significant reduction in the incidence of soft tissue injuries, from car crashes could be expected
Drive defensively, and be proactive to protect yourself from risk. Some things, however, are beyond our control and car accidents just happen. If you find yourself injured after a car accident, or suffering from the symptoms of whiplash, seek confident, competent auto accident attorney in Clearwater at the Dolman Law Group: 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765