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If you are one of the millions who drive to work each and every day, the chances that you will experience at least one car accident is not negligible. Though a great number of car accidents may lead to no catastrophic damages or injuries, there are still a great number of accidents that do lead to injuries that can take months or years to recover from.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our car accident injury lawyers.
Common Car Accident Injuries
1. Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are those injuries that damage the body’s muscles, ligaments, or tendons. One of the most common soft tissue injuries after a motor vehicle accident is whiplash. Whiplash is often caused by the rapid motion that occurs in the head and neck after a collision. Whiplash can also affect the spine. Neck pain, headache, and blurred vision are some of the symptoms of whiplash.
2. Broken Bones
Broken bones are a common injury resulting from a car accident. The impact of the car crashing into other vehicles or stationary objects can propel a victim’s body parts into the dashboard, steering wheel, windows, or windshield. This force can result in mild to severe bone fractures.
3. Cuts and Scrapes
When you are involved in a car accident, many objects can fly into the air and hit you. For instance, your GPS, cellphones, or coffee mugs inside the vehicle can cause cuts if they fly at you with enough force. Though most cuts and scrapes can be minor, some may require more intense procedures such as stitches. Your airbags can also be a cause of cuts and scrapes.
4. Head Injury
Head injuries are perhaps the most disastrous of car accident injuries. Head injuries can occur when your head hits the window or steering wheel of your car. Though head injuries would be fine it only led to superficial damages, if you received closed head injuries, this can lead to more devastating consequences such as concussions and permanent brain damage.
5. Chest Injury
Chest injuries, like head injuries, can be merely superficial. This means just bruises or scrapes. However, internal damages can occur as well. Broken ribs are common in severe car accidents. Often broken ribs can occur because the chest hits the steering wheel at a tremendous force.
6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Though we think of car accidents or most other accidents as simply affecting the physical body, we must not forget that there can be mental effects as well, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A severe car accident can cause a person to no longer function as he or she once did before the accident. Many car accident victims are too anxious to be able to drive after an accident and some suffer from horrible flashbacks of the accident.
Cars can catch on fire after a collision. If a car starts burning with a passenger or driver trapped inside, severe burn injuries are possible.
How to Avoid or Mitigate Common Car Accident Injuries
Though accidents are inevitable in our lives, there are nevertheless ways to lessen the risk of them. Below are some of the ways you may reduce the risk of car accidents.
Follow the Speed Limit
Though it is important to keep up with the speed of traffic, when you decide to drive twenty or more above the speed limit, the chance of an accident increases. This is because you will not be able to stop in time if a car ahead of you suddenly stops or because you will not be able to act in time to avoid an obstacle on the road. The basic rule of driving on the highway or anywhere is to drive in accordance with how other drivers are driving. As long as you are within the speed of the other drivers around you, you are likely driving at a reasonable speed. Though car accidents often happen because a driver drives too fast, it is possible to get into an accident if you drive too slow as well.
Perform Regular Maintenance Checks on Your Vehicle
Just like an annual medical checkup, you should also go to a mechanic shop or the like to get your vehicle checked. Sometimes, you may find that one of your lights is not functioning or your tire has a leak. It is better to find out at the mechanic shop than on the highway. A flat tire or a nonfunctioning light can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Do Not Multitask While Driving
Some people pride themselves on being able to multitask. However, the car is not a place where you should test your multitasking skills. This means you should not text or fiddle with other devices on the road. Texting and driving has been a growing cause of car accidents. No text is worth your life.
Do Not Drive After Drinking or Taking Certain Types of Medication
Despite all the public service announcements and tragic stories of drunk driving accidents, drunk driving is still a problem in the United States. Just because you had one beer and you think you are fine does not mean you necessarily are. Alcohol impairs judgment. This means that it can make you think you are fine to drive even when you are not. Also, if you have recently been prescribed mediation that has as one of its side effects drowsiness, do not operate a motor vehicle until you know how that medication will affect you. You do not want to suddenly fall into a slumber while on the highway.
Do Not Run Red Lights
We are all in a rush to get home or to get to work or anywhere. However, it is not the end of the world if you have to stop at a red light for a few minutes. Rushing a red light and getting hit by another car is not worth it. When you see the light turn yellow, it means to slow down. It does not mean to accelerate. Unfortunately, many accidents occur because of this very reason. The light turns orange, and a driver decides to rush it to avoid a red light. Unfortunately, as the light turns red, the light turns green for the other cars at the intersection. Though in many cases, drivers will wait a few seconds after the light turns green to accelerate, some drivers will accelerate almost immediately. This means that the car that runs the red light can possibly get hit by the car that accelerates at the green light.
Pull Over If You Cannot See During a Heavy Rainstorm
You are not being courageous by driving in a rainstorm where you cannot see anything. If you are unable to see anything, please stop your car at the side of the road until the rain lessens or stops. Also, remember not to turn on your hazard lights when you are still driving. Hazard lights are for when your car is stopped. If you turn on your hazard lights and are still driving, some cars behind you might think your car is stopped or stalled. It also reduces your car’s visibility. Only turn on your hazard lights when you are stopped. You should also make sure that if when you are driving in a heavy rainstorm to turn on your headlights to increase your visibility for cars in front of you.
Do Not Tailgate
Tailgating means driving too close behind another vehicle. Some drivers tailgate to aggressively encourage the car in front to drive faster. If you have a tailgating driver behind you, try and just move out of the way. It is not worth getting into an accident by continuing to let the driver tailgate behind. In any case, the general rule is to stay at least two seconds behind another vehicle. That way, if the car in front of you suddenly stops, you can stop in time to avoid crashing into it.
Keep Your Hands on the Steering Wheel
The proper way to hold a steering wheel is to keep your left hand at the 9 o’clock position and your right hand at the 3 o’clock position. If you drive with one hand or no hands at all, your chance of getting into an accident increases. Imagine you are driving when suddenly an obstacle pops into view. If your hands are not on the steering wheel, you are unlikely to move your car in time to avoid the obstacle.
Be an Active Driver
Always pay attention to the road for problems on the road or problems with other drivers. It is not enough that you drive safely. You must remember that there are inattentive drivers on the road as well. If you see a driver, for instance, who is weaving in and out of his or her lane, accelerate past them if you are able. Do the same if you see a driver who has forgotten to turn off his or her turn signal. If you see a pothole or remnants of a tire on road, avoid them with a slight weave. Always be an active driver, not a passive one.
CONTACT A CAR ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER
The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your car accident injury claim. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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