The squeal of brakes, blaring of a horn and a deafening crash – there’s no mistaking the sound and feel of a collision. Even a major car accident is over in a moment, but the effects can linger for a lifetime. Pain and trauma from a single crash can impact every part of your life, from your ability to perform your job or pursue favorite hobbies to your ability to sleep well at night. Car accident injuries may not be readily apparent; damage to your neck and back may not show up for several hours or days after your collision. Knowing some of the injuries you could sustain and how to get help can ease your pain and anxiety and help you get on the road to a full recovery.

Car Accident Injuries

While every auto accident is different, there are plenty of common conditions experienced by people who have been in a collision. Soft tissue injuries, which affect the ligaments and muscles, can include damage to joints, neck or back. Whiplash is very common, even for motorists who were not in a severe accident. The most common car accident injuries include:

  • Head and brain injuries 
  • Neck strain, pain or whiplash 
  • Back injuries, from sprains and strains to disc or spinal injury 
  • Chest injuries, from colliding with the steering wheel to the sudden force of the crash 
  • Arm and leg injuries of a variety of types, from cuts and scrapes to broken bones and sprains 

Avoiding Car Accidents

Sometimes there is no way to prevent a crash. The right preventative measures can help minimize your chances of being in a collision and sustaining an injury. The car and driving experts at Edmunds.com recommend the following tips for safe driving:  

Maintain your vehicle: Make sure your tires are not bald, that your brakes work and that your car is performing as safely as it should. 

Be wary of cars in poor condition: Drivers that don’t maintain their cars well may also have sloppy or inattentive habits on the road, so be careful of extremely unkempt vehicles.

Stay to the right: The left lane is for passing, and it’s where the majority of highway accidents happen. Give yourself more options to avoid a crash by choosing the middle or right lanes on the highway.

Be extra vigilant at night or on holidays: From teens fresh out of driving school to drunken revelers, the hours between darkness and dawn are the most dangerous for driving, no matter where you live.

Pay attention to the weather: Snow, rain and wet conditions can be hazardous for drivers. Use extra caution in bad weather to avoid an accident.  

What to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident

When you have an injury to your neck or back, visit a medical professional as soon as possible. They will design a treatment plan to ease your pain and ensure you are not causing further damage. Additionally, keep accurate records of your car accident injuries and the treatment required. This will help to ensure that you can recover damages from the other driver or insurance company. Most importantly, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney that will help protect your rights and get you the compensation needed for your recovery from car accident injuries. 

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