Medically consulted injuries associated with car crashes have risen to roughly 4.8 million per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) unveiled that the US just experienced an all-time high in traffic fatalities in 2021. Additionally, The Bay Area is home to the 4th most congested city in America and is no exception to the uptick in accidents and injuries. Common injuries related to collisions are back injuries, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and whiplash.
45% of people who have chronic neck pain attribute that pain to a past motor vehicle accident, according to the analysis conducted by the Spine Research Institute of San Diego.
What Is a Whiplash Injury?
Generally speaking, whiplash is a term used to describe an injury to the neck, specifically, a sprain. A rear-end collision is a familiar source of whiplash as it induces the neck’s abrupt forward and backward motion. A sudden, violent jolt can force your neck’s soft tissues beyond their normal range of motion, resulting in a sprain. According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, there are 3.1 million new whiplash injuries each year.
Most Common Causes of Whiplash
John Hopkins Institute finds the most common cause of whiplash injuries is auto collisions, specifically rear-end impacts. Sports injuries can also cause whiplash, particularly in contact sports, and incidents of physical abuse and assault.
The force does not have to be great for car accidents to render a whiplash injury. These injuries often result from accidents in which vehicles were moving as slowly as five to ten miles per hour.
Whiplash: Signs and Symptoms
Before discussing signs of whiplash, it is vital to note that whiplash does not always appear instantly. After an accident, your body releases hormones like adrenaline to shield you from shock and trauma. As well as activating a fight-or-flight response, hormones temporarily mask or reduce pain. Unfortunately, this often results in individuals abstaining from emergency medical treatment (EMT) on scene and skipping an urgent care visit following an accident. A physician should always check you for any signs of injury that may not be immediately apparent in the aftermath of an accident.
Whiplash will almost always result in stiffness and soreness in the neck, which can also radiate to the shoulders. Usually, you’ll notice that your neck is less mobile than it would be if it weren’t injured.
You may also experience any of the following:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms
- Limited range of motion
- Tingling or numbness traveling down to the arms and hands
- Difficulty concentrating
- Ringing in the ears
- Feeling unsteady, disoriented, or dizzy
- Problems with memory can accompany a whiplash injury
- Depression and irritability
Tips for Avoiding Rear-end Collisions
Sadly, sometimes accidents are unavoidable due to other drivers’ aggressiveness, speeding, distracted driving, and general negligence. However, defensive and safe motorist techniques can help reduce the odds of a crash. Make sure you pay attention to the road ahead and your surroundings; be aware of the distance between you and other vehicles as you approach an intersection, a red light, and other road slowdowns. In addition to staying mindful and alert, you can avoid rear-end wrecks and other collisions by using your signals and mirrors, avoiding getting boxed in, and keeping a safe distance from reckless drivers you may encounter.
An Injury Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence
Consult with a knowledgeable Bay Area personal injury attorney when you suffer whiplash or any other injury due to another driver’s negligence. At-fault parties should always be held accountable. The cost of medical bills, therapy, prescriptions, and lost wages can quickly add up. Consulting an experienced car accident and personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure proper compensation.