While today's motor vehicles are equipped with more safety devices than ever, every year millions of people throughout the U.S. are still involved in motor vehicle accidents. During 2013 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 30,000 people were killed in traffic accidents and hundreds of thousands more suffered minor to severe injuries.
Among the most serious and debilitating injuries to result from traffic crashes are those that affect the spine and brain. In this two-part blog post, we'll discuss why these types of injuries frequently occur in car accidents as well as the short and long-term side effects that injuries such as these have on the lives of those impacted.
According to the Atlanta Nation Center for Injury Prevention and Control, annually, an estimated 280,000 people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents. This equates to roughly one out of every five brain injuries. From whiplash and concussions to a closed-head and penetrating injuries, any time the head is thrust violently about, hits an object, or is penetrated by an object; an individual is likely to suffer brain damage.
Depending on the type of injury and the region of the brain impacted, an individual may have difficulty remembering or recalling things, suffer cognitive impairments, and experience problems with speech. Additionally, changes in personality and demeanor are common as many brain injury victims and their families report an increase in feelings of anger, frustration, and anxiety post-injury.
Source: Brain Injury Association of America, "Brain Injury," Dec. 9, 2015