Whether caused by negligence or alcohol, bad weather or defective equipment, car accidents can cause life-changing injuries that affect the families of everyone involved. In an effort to prevent these injuries, states across the nation are tightening down on traffic laws.
New York is among the most forward thinking states when it comes to traffic regulations—and for good reason. In 2012 alone, there were 1,168 traffic fatalities in the Empire State, according to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration. If there’s a silver lining, though, it’s that this number has gradually decreased since 2008, when there were 1,238 traffic deaths in New York.
But negligent driving is still a real problem, and despite stricter legislation, there’s still progress to be made. This is especially true in areas like Nassau County. Five-year trends show that Nassau ranks 2nd in fatalities among New York counties.
Car accidents cause a range of injuries to both drivers and passengers. Some are minor, such as small cuts and bruises, while some are more severe, like head trauma and broken bones. More serious injuries can prevent employees from returning to work, leading to financial hardship for families. Victims may no longer be able to enjoy their favorite physical activities, and even simple, daily tasks can become challenging.
Five common car accident injuries:
1. Brain Damage
Taking a blow to the head can damage the brain either temporarily or permanently. In some cases, as with mild concussions, the damage can repair itself after a few weeks of rest. Car accidents and motorcycle crashes are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
TBIs are among the most debilitating injuries because they can affect all aspects of the victim’s life, making daily life a challenge. From communication to basic motor skills, brain trauma can be a lasting hardship. It also can impact memory, mood, concentration and vision. Nearly half of people hospitalized with a TBI have a related disability a year after the injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Eye Injuries
A powerful collision can send objects flying around your vehicle. In some cases, this can lead to an eye injury. Like head trauma, these injuries can be either minor or serious, temporary or long-term.
3. Back And Neck Injuries
Car accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries, causing four out of every 10 spinal cord injuries. Whiplash is one of the most commonly reported injuries in car accidents. It involves the neck stretching and then snapping back into place. This can be the outcome when a vehicle suddenly stops or accelerates.
Whiplash can injure the ligaments, vertebrae or spinal cord in the back and neck. It can cause minor or severe paralysis. Sometimes, chronic pain can result, reducing the victim’s quality of life. Other back injuries include spinal cord injuries resulting in crushed or dislocated vertebrae.
4. Chest Injuries
If a vehicle is compressed by the collision, bones in the chest and ribs can break. Sternum injuries are common, especially if the passenger or driver is not wearing a seatbelt and the impact of the crash pushes the steering column into the driver’s chest. Air bags can help prevent chest injuries.
5. Knee And Leg Injuries
These are also common if a collision causes the vehicle to compress. When doors are smashed in, the knees or legs can take a blow, which can cause factures, bruising or ligament damage. One common injury is a meniscus tear, which affects the cartilage within the knee if it twists abruptly.
Although car accident injuries won’t vanish any time soon, spreading awareness of roadway dangers can help save lives. For the best chance of preventing serious damage, purchase a vehicle that’s equipped with passenger- and driver-side air bags, and don’t forget to wear your seatbelt.
If you’ve been in a car accident and seek legal representation, click the link to learn more about motor vehicle accidents.