Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in the United States today. According to statistics from Fathers Against Drunk Driving, over 50% of all fatal highway crashes involving two or more cars are alcohol related, over 65% of all fatal single car crashes are alcohol related, and drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.
Tragically, many of these accidents leave survivors severely injured, requiring months or even years of medical care. These injuries come in many forms, including:
- Head Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Chest Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Outer Body Injuries
DUI Head Injuries
Injuries to the head/skull are common in violent car accidents, and are particularly dangerous, due to the fragility and importance of the brain and brainstem. Common head injuries which impact the brain include:
Concussion: When the brain endures trauma from impact, sudden momentum, or movement change.
Contusion: Also known as a bruise; however, brain bruises are much more dangerous than bruises to other parts of your body. Very serious brain contusions can require surgical removal.
Coup-Contrecoup: When an accident is so violent it causes the brain to receive contusions on both sides, at the site of impact and on the opposing side of the head.
Diffuse Axonal: Caused by a forceful rotation of the skull, which can literally tear structures of the brain.
Penetration: When an object penetrates through the skull and into the brain.
DUI Neck Injuries
Car accidents frequently cause neck injuries because the neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. Some of the common car accident neck injuries include:
Nerve Pinch: Caused by constant pressure on a nerve, a pinched neck nerve can create sharp, shooting pain sensations in the neck and arms.
Disc Injury: If an accident results in damage to a vertebral disk, nerves in the neck might become irritated, causing discomfort to travel from the neck to the legs.
Whiplash: Caused by violent shaking of the neck. Damage to soft tissues can lead to a multitude of symptoms, including neck pain and stiffness, headache, dizziness, and tingling/numbness, or weakness in your neck and extremities.
Vertebral Fracture: High speed crashes can cause a vertebra in your neck to break. Fractures to the neck vertebrae are especially dangerous and require immediate medical intervention, or the victim risks the possibility of becoming paralyzed, or even dying.
DUI Back Injuries
During a car accident, the bones and muscles of the back are easy to sprain and strain, and can cause both immediate and long-lingering pain, making even the simplest physical activities an unbearable burden. Accident victims are subject to herniated discs and broken vertebrae, which can be excruciating and possibly require surgery to help provide the patient with their full range of motion again.
DUI Spinal Cord Injuries
Sometimes seen in severe back injuries, the spinal cord itself can be injured or even severed altogether. This can involve displacement of bone fragments or tearing of the spinal cord tissue. Some people experience a sudden loss of body function when their spinal cord has been injured. Spinal cord injuries are gravely serious and should be treated immediately in an effort to ward off the possibility of permanent paralysis.
DUI Chest Injuries
In an auto accident, the bones and muscles that comprise the chest are vulnerable to impacts and injuries, though the causes of car accident chest pain are diverse, and may include seat belt injuries, steering wheel injuries, airbag injuries, muscle straining/tension, anxiety-induced panic attacks, and rarely, an accident can bring on a full blown heart attack.
DUI Facial & Outer Body Injuries
Injuries to the face often include abrasions, lacerations, and contusions. Injuries of this nature can be caused by flying glass and road debris, as well as broken pieces of the car itself. While rarely life threatening, injuries to the face often leave visible scars.
Injuries to the extremities, like your arms and legs, are also possible during a vehicular crash. Cuts, bruises, wrist and ankle sprains, fractures, and dislocations are all examples of the injuries that one can incur during a car accident.
This is a guest post, written by top auto accident doctor, Dr. Travis Utter. If you've been injured in a car accident and need an experienced auto accident injury doctor near you, visit https://topinjurydoctors.com/.