Common Injuries Sustained in Colorado Car Accidents
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
October 23, 2023
As a personal injury attorney in Denver, I see the tragic results of car crashes every day and, too often, they start to seem predictable. At the risk of sounding like these incidents are routine, which I know they are NOT when they happen to you or someone you love, I thought it would be prudent to share some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents, as well as the most common ways to prevent these injuries.
The Most Common Injuries After a Colorado Car Crash
When vehicles collide with sudden force, whiplash often takes center stage. This injury occurs when the neck is rapidly jerked beyond its natural range of motion. Victims of rear-end collisions are particularly prone to this painful condition, which manifests in symptoms like neck pain, headaches, and reduced mobility.
Airbags, designed as life-saving mechanisms, can also cause some of the common injuries sustained in car accidents. The rapid deployment of airbags can lead to wrist fractures, hand injuries, and abrasions if passengers don’t place their hands correctly at the time of impact.
In broadside collisions, where vehicles are struck on the driver’s side, chest injuries are a common consequence of car accidents. These injuries are the result of the driver’s chest slamming into the steering wheel or dashboard. Severe cases can result in broken ribs, lung injuries, and damage to vital organs.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a looming danger in high-impact car accidents. When a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, the deceleration can cause the brain to jolt inside the skull, leading to head injuries that range from mild concussions to severe TBIs. These injuries can lead to long-term cognitive impairment and, in some cases, prove fatal.
Spinal Cord Injuries
High-impact car accidents, such as head-on collisions, can result in spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord, a vital part of the nervous system, can sustain damage, causing paralysis or a severe loss of mobility and sensation. Such injuries can lead to life-altering consequences.
Fractured bones are a common outcome of high-velocity car accidents, where the body is subjected to extreme forces. These common fractures after car accidents can range from simple breaks that heal with time to complex, compound fractures that demand extensive medical attention.
When a car accident leads to a fire or explosion, the result is often severe burn injuries. Victims find themselves facing the excruciating pain of burns that may require extensive treatment, including skin grafts and long-term rehabilitation.
Beyond the physical injuries, psychological trauma is an often-overlooked consequence of car accidents. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD can plague victims, making it difficult for them to lead normal lives as they grapple with the emotional aftermath.
Preventing Car Accident Injuries: What Colorado Drivers and Passengers Can Do
Drivers and passengers have the power to reduce their vulnerability by adopting some essential safety measures. A proactive approach to safety can go a long way in preventing or minimizing the most common injuries after car accidents.
Seat Belts: Always a Must
Wearing seat belts in Colorado is a fundamental step in protecting yourself from the worst effects of an accident. For drivers and passengers alike, fastening your seat belt should be non-negotiable. In the event of a collision, seat belts keep individuals securely in their seats, preventing them from being thrown around or ejected from the vehicle.
Proper Headrest Adjustment
Properly adjusting the headrest is crucial in minimizing the risk of whiplash. The top of the headrest should be level with the top of your head, ensuring that it can support your neck in the event of a collision. This is an easy way to prevent some of the most common injuries after car crashes.
When airbags deploy, they do so at a tremendous speed. To minimize the risk of airbag-related injuries, if you have time to react, passengers and drivers should sit back in their seats, at a safe distance from the airbag, with their hands on the lower part of the steering wheel. This will help prevent wrists from being struck with excessive force.
Defensive Driving Skills
Driving defensively in Denver is another pivotal aspect of preventing accidents altogether. Staying alert, maintaining a safe following distance, and being aware of one’s surroundings can help drivers avoid sudden, high-impact collisions.
Child Safety Seats
For parents, investing in proper child safety seats is a vital precaution. Installing them according to manufacturer instructions and keeping children properly restrained can make a crucial difference in the event of an accident.
Safe Driving Habits
Reducing distractions and obeying traffic laws are essential. Distracted driving, which includes activities like texting, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving, significantly increases the risk of accidents.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Ensuring that your vehicle is well-maintained is equally important. Regular check-ups, tire maintenance, and brake inspections can help prevent common injuries after car crashes.
Mental Health Awareness
Emotional well-being is just as crucial as physical safety. Acknowledging the psychological trauma that can follow an accident and seeking professional help when necessary is a key step in recovery.
Passengers can also play a role in preventing injuries. Encouraging others in the vehicle to wear their seat belts, avoid distracting the driver, and sitting back with proper posture can create a safer environment for all.
Sadly, we are all vulnerable to these common injuries after car accidents every time we drive, no matter how safely we drive. We simply can’t control everyone else on the road. Hopefully, now that you know some of these common injuries and the steps you can take to prevent them, you’ll make some choices to keep yourself and your passengers protected.