Common Distracted Driving Injuries Car Accident Lawyers Deal With
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. According to the CDC, about 3,000 people die as a result of accidents involving distracted drivers each year. Even when distracted driving accidents are not fatal, they can result in a variety of injuries. Often, people who were injured by a distracted driver seek legal counsel to help them win compensation for their injuries.
What Is Distracted Driving?
What exactly is distracted driving? Distracted driving includes anything that takes your attention away from the road and the process of driving. Texting and driving is a common example. Distracted driving can also include eating or drinking while driving, having a conversation with passengers, applying make-up, or adjusting a GPS or radio.
Even seemingly harmless activities can pose great risks behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds might not seem that dangerous, but if you are traveling fast enough, your car can travel dozens of feet in this span of time. It is extremely important to refrain from any distracting activities that could put you or your passengers at risk. When you arrive at your destination, then you can send that text message or finish that sandwich.
Common Distracted Driving Injuries
Distracted driving in any situation can lead to car accidents. Whether you are pulling out of a parking space or on the highway, taking your attention away from the road can result in an accident and may injure you or others involved in the crash. There are several types of common injuries that can result from car accidents.
Neck and Back Injuries
The impact of a car crash and the resulting strain of the seatbelt against your body can cause neck or back injuries. Herniated discs are a common example of these types of injuries. A herniated disc is when the disc that acts as a cushion between the consecutive vertebrae in your spine tears. The tear exposes the inner portion of the disc. Symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the location of the herniated or torn disc within your spinal cord. Sometimes the herniated disc will put pressure on your nerves, causing pain, tingling, or numbness in an arm or a leg.
One important thing to remember about back and neck injuries such as a herniated disc is that you may not feel pain right away. After the accident, you may feel as if you have no injuries. However, as you go through your usual routine in the hours or days following the accident, the injury could worsen and symptoms may develop. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you were in a car accident. It is always better to err on the side of caution. Quick detection of neck and back injuries is the key to a quick and successful recovery. Seeing a doctor can also provide useful documentation if you decide to file a personal injury claim later.
The force of a car accident can often cause drivers and passengers to be thrown around within their vehicle. Broken bones can occur as a result of impact or if arms, legs, or other body parts are trapped between your body and the car interior. In addition, some people sustain broken ribs as a result of their body straining against the seatbelt during a high-impact collision.
As with all injuries, it is important to seek medical attention right away if you think you may have a broken bone. A broken arm or leg may not heal properly without proper medical care. This can result in a longer and more painful recovery. Broken ribs in particular require careful attention and rest. If you sustained broken ribs in a car accident, you may have to take significant time off from your job to recover fully.
Whiplash occurs because your body is traveling at high speeds when you are in a moving vehicle. A car crash can cause sudden changes in motion such as an abrupt stop or turn. This can strain certain muscles such as those in your neck, resulting in pain and discomfort. Whiplash is primarily a soft tissue injury, but it can also involve damage to joints or spinal discs..
Even a minor car accident in which your vehicle was not traveling at highway speeds can cause whiplash. An abrupt stop, even in a relatively slow-moving vehicle applies force to your muscles and subjects them to strain that they do not usually have to endure. Many car accident victims who sustained whiplash injuries do not feel pain right after the accident. The adrenaline in the immediate wake of the car wreck can suppress the pain, which then grows more severe in the following days.
How to Avoid Injuries
While there is some inherent risk involved in driving a car and even the most careful drivers may get in accidents. We spoke with the attorneys at BBGA, and they have some simple tips for reducing your risk of suffering the injuries described above.
One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to the road. This means devoting your full attention to watching your surroundings and driving carefully. Even relatively simple activities such as switching the song on your iPhone can divide your attention. Any activity that requires you to look away from the road is especially risky. You cannot assume that other drivers are being careful, and in a matter of seconds a car could change lanes or stop in front of you. This is why texting and driving is such a hazard. Talking on hands-free headsets or with your passengers can also prove distracting. This is especially true for new drivers. Until you are comfortable behind the wheel, it may be safer to drive alone.
If you do get into a car accident, one of the first things you should do is see a doctor. A doctor will be able to detect and properly treat any injuries, preventing them from becoming worse over time.