Last month in Texas, thirteen people were killed when a church bus crashed into a pickup truck. In the moments before the collision took place, a call was placed to authorities in order to report reckless driving. Even though police were already on their way, all but one of the church bus passengers were killed–most on the scene, and one more pronounced dead at the hospital.
Although it isn’t always obvious what caused an accident and that’s certainly the case regarding this Texas tragedy, it’s a good time to point out that certain injuries are far more common during a car accident, and can sometimes lead to death if allowed to be ignored or left undiagnosed. These are just a few:
Ocular damage. When your vehicle crashes into a car, tree, or anything else at high speeds, there is usually shattered glass spraying everywhere. Doctors commonly find these tiny shards of this glass inside the eyes of their patients following an accident, and it can be a costly, time-consuming process to fix. Even when finished, permanent damage and loss of sight can result.
Head injuries. Air bags can prevent only so much damage. They help shield the bone structure of our skull from serious damage, but there is little they can do to prevent the damage inside. When our bodies come to an abrupt stop, our internal organs smash into the surrounding tissue and can rupture. Damage to our brains can manifest as a concussion. The severest episodes can include loss of speech, memory, or inability to concentrate.
Neck. During an impact, the body can twist and contort. When this happens, the neck and back can stretch and then whip back into place (whiplash). This can damage vertebrae, nerves, ligaments, and can lead to paralysis or chronic pain that can last a lifetime.
Collarbone. Although our seat belts can be life-saving during high-speed collisions, they can also do quite a bit of damage even when worn properly. Most often, the speed at which our bodies are thrust forward by sheer velocity and momentum can cause the shoulder-strap to snip a collarbone in two. This can take months to heal fully.
Feet. Foot injuries are common during any collision. There is no protection down below, and they can easily get tangled with petals when the hull of a vehicle is crushed inward during an impact.
PTSD. An accident that causes severe injury or loss of life can result in mild to severe post-traumatic stress disorder for the survivors. While this isn’t exactly a physical condition, the stress can cause a number of physical reactions or symptoms in the body. Those who experience PTSD can experience insomnia, anxiety, increased aggression, memory loss and depression. These can drastically affect a body’s ability to provide a strong immune response to any physical injuries already suffered on top of everything else.
Because so many injuries can lead to serious complications, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort following a collision with another vehicle. While you might not have any cuts or scrapes or broken bones, you may have internal bleeding which can only be fixed with surgery. Foregoing such treatment can be costly, both financially and personally. Take the matter seriously, and do not delay.