What Happens In A Car Accident To Your Body

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Car accidents are common. In fact, over 3 million people were involved in car crashes last year. But what happens in a car accident to your body? You may be wondering what physical pain and injuries commonly occur from these types of crashes.

Here is what typically takes place in the event of a car crash:  your vehicle is moving at a high speed and collides with another object. The kinetic energy is displaced from the road to the car, which is why a high speed collision is so much more dangerous, simply because higher speeds mean a higher amount of kinetic energy that needs to be displaced. Depending on the speed, the human body can go through an intense amount of trauma and stress during the collision. This is because your muscles tense up as one result of the human body's natural reflexes, which causes strains on your ligaments and joints. The sudden jerk to stop also causes strain on your neck and spine discs that could lead to injury or worse if not taken care of properly.

What Happens To Your Body During A Car Crash

During a car crash, your body instinctively goes into what is known as the fight or flight mode. This happens when your nervous system becomes active and releases what are called neurotransmitters, which prepare you for what could be either a physical attack (fight) or an urgent need to get away from danger (flight).

The result of this response can lead to injuries such as:

  • Fainting
  • Blows to head that cause concussion
  • Whiplash in neck causing pain in shoulders, headaches etc.  
  • Sprains/strains on muscles due to tenses they may have been put through during the crash

This sudden rush of adrenaline can also temporarily mask pain from injuries that can lead to a person not realizing what is going on until the car crash has already happened. When this happens, victims might not even know what the extent of their injuries are, which is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident.

The person who has been in an accident will need to go through a physical examination and, depending on what symptoms might be present they may have tests done so that doctors can determine what type of treatment is needed for what the personal injury could be. This consultation process with medical professionals can also involve consultations with specialists (if necessary) such as:

  • Chiropractors
  • Orthopedists
  • Neurologists
  • Ophthalmologists

During this time it's important that any victims do whatever they need to help themselves recover from what happened during an incident--whether or not they feel pain at first. It's about self care! So be sure to seek medical attention to address any physical injuries you may have sustained.

How Painful Is A Car Crash?

The intensity of the pain you experience largely depends on what part of your body was hit, and what damage was done.  In general, your upper body will sustain more damages, which is unfortunate as this can create a higher chance of your internal organs being damaged.

You may feel some joints or muscles in your lumbar spine start to hurt since it's one of the largest muscle groups in our body that experiences a lot of stress during an accident. Your neck could also be sore from all the jerking up quickly at such high speeds before coming back down again. If you're feeling any numbness or tingling sensations, this could mean there is trauma to your spinal cord which affects what nerves are telling your brain what's happening with those limbs.

Regardless of what you feel initially after a car crash, the human body is not immune to retroactive pain. You should keep an eye out in the coming weeks for things like back pain, disc herniation, or concussion-like symptoms.

What Are The Physical Side Effects Of A Car Accident?

Physically, what happens in a car accident is that the sudden change in your body's speed can lead to trauma. Your brain and spinal cord are what interprets messages from your limbs- if there is any damage or injury to these areas then you may not be able to feel anything at all with those parts of your body. Pain might occur due to what joints were hit during an accident: What we call lumbar spine pain which occurs when hitting one part of the back against another (like kneeing it), injuring muscles such as neck spasms, or even having some nerve injuries like tingling sensations up into our extremities since this area has more nerves than others- so they're more liable for inflammation!

Depending on the severity of the car crash, your body might be more susceptible to what we call a whiplash injury. This occurs when one side of the neck is suddenly whipped back and forth, causing some ligament sprains in that area which can lead to pain or even headaches due to what muscles are strained.

Physical Pain After Car Crashes

The severity of the car crash will determine what physical pain you may experience. If it's a mild accident, then your body might have some minor bruising or soreness.

If you experience any significant injury in an auto collision, please contact your doctor! You could be at risk for what is called diffuse axonal injury (DAI), which includes bleeding inside the skull and is one of the most severe brain injuries possible with this type of event. Injuries like this should be treated by medical professionals immediately because they often require surgery as well as rehabilitation services such as occupational therapy treatments.

Common Car Accident Injuries

The most common car accident injuries include fractured bones, head injuries (diffuse axonal injury), and what we call whiplash.

Fractured Bones

Fractures of the pelvis, ribs, femur or spine can happen in a car accident. These are serious because they require surgery to repair them and rehabilitation afterward so that you have full use of those parts again after healing.

Head Injuries

Head injuries may be very mild such as what is called "closed-head" trauma where there's no fracture on the skull but bleeding inside the brain from what happened during impact; these occur when what happens to your body causes damage like hemorrhaging with blood vessels near your brain or spinal cord which can cause bruising or swelling around it - this puts pressure on your skull or organs which is what causes the closed-head trauma.


Whiplash is a common injury that occurs in many car accidents as a result  of what happens to your body when it's thrown around by sudden impact. It damages the ligaments in your neck and can also cause what is called a "shift injury" which means that there may be damage done to discs between spinal bones - this is what causes those injuries like numbness or tingling from what happened during whiplash.

Depending on how much force was applied, whiplash could result in many different and serious problems like concussions which are very common after car accidents because of what happens with head trauma as well as skull fractures; these happen when an object crashes into your skull or when rapid acceleration forces something against it causing the bone fragments inside of it to smash together.

Secondary Injury

These are injuries that happen to what happens in a car accident victims after they survive what happened, such as bleeding from what we call an "open" head injury or broken bones and other major injuries which can lead to things like blood clots (hematomas) when your body doesn't get enough room for it inside of you because what happened caused damage at what would usually be empty spaces.

How To Minimize Injuries In A Car Accident

Depending on the severity and speed of the accident, it may be impossible to leave a car accident with no injuries sustained. But to mitigate the risk of serious injuries occurring following a car accident, there are some what happens in a car accident safety tips you can follow.

First, everyone in the vehicle should always be wearing a seat belt, regardless of their position in the car. Yes, persons sitting in the back seat of a car should also be wearing a seat belt.

Second, the driver should always keep their steering wheel at a safe distance from their body. Having your steering wheel too close to your face can cause a concussion in the event that an airbag deploys.

Third, The driver should avoid any distractions such as cell phones while driving. A distracted driver puts all the passengers in the car as well as all the other cars on the road at an increased risk of a severe accident.

Hiring A Lawyer After A Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car crash that resulted in a personal injury, you can always speak with an attorney about what steps you need to take after the accident, even if you don't plan to hire them. Personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation, so it makes sense to discuss it with them. You will receive a free case review, and you will have a better understanding of who was at fault in your accident. Pursuing a settlement can make a lot of sense after an accident, as your insurance may not cover all of the expenses for medical treatment.

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