Effects of a Car Crash on the Human Body

The laws of physics 1say a body in motion will stay in motion until an outside force acts upon it. Anyone who has been injured in a car accident can attest to this fact. 

The physical impact of a car crash on the human body can be significant, often sparing no part of the body. Sometimes, the very safety mechanisms that usually save lives can also cause serious injury. 

Injuries from car accidents can require medical care for treatment and rehabilitation, and often these expenses are significant and ongoing. For those making a car accident compensation claim, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney to ensure getting the most compensation possible for your injuries.2

What are the Most Common Injuries of a Car Accident?

The severity and nature of the injury sustained in a car crash depend on many factors. For instance, the position in which you were sitting and the direction you were facing at the time of impact will affect the injuries sustained. Several types of injuries are most commonly suffered in car accidents.

Neck Injuries

Whiplash is the most common in rear-end car accidents. 3Upon impact from the car in the rear, the neck moves back and forth quickly. 

The symptoms of whiplash might not be evident right away but will usually appear within days of the accident. Aside from neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the neck, other symptoms of whiplash can include: 

  • Headaches
  • Upper back pain
  • Pain in the upper arms and numbness in the arms
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue, dizziness 

Aside from whiplash, other neck problems can occur after an accident, such as a tenseness or discomfort in the muscles around your neck. You should seek medical treatment as imaging could help diagnose the problem. 

Burns, Cuts, and Bruises

Burns may occur following an airbag deployment because of releasing the chemicals inside the bag. They can also cause a burn from friction when they contact someone’s skin. 

The seatbelt can also cause burns and bruising when it locks in place during a collision, pressing tightly against your skin. In addition, broken glass, torn sheet metal, or flying objects can cause lacerations and bruises.

Fractures from Head to Toe and Internal Bleeding

Fractures are common injuries in more high-speed car collisions. Leg, arm, toe, feet, and ankle fractures, among others, can occur. Collarbones and ribs are also susceptible to fracture. 

Pelvic fractures are severe because they often require surgery and lots of rehabilitation. Proper treatment of fractures is imperative because they can cause a lifetime of pain and discomfort if not correctly dealt with. 

During a crash, your stomach, intestines, and other internal organs can be affected, causing a rupture, bruising or internal bleeding, which can be extremely serious. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen area
  • Dizziness.
  • Bruising 
  • The feeling of tightness in your legs (indicating internal bleeding in your thigh).
  • Headache or loss of consciousness.
  • Chest pain.

Back, Spine, and Disc Injuries

Anything involving the spinal cord is dangerous. Your spinal cord could become bruised, lacerated, or damaged from extreme pressure during an accident. Here are some signs of spinal cord injuries:4

  • Decreased ability to move, muscle weakness
  • A change in sensation, 
  • Loss of bodily functions (bowel and bladder); changes in sexual functions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A loss of feeling in the arms, legs, or chest

The extreme force from a collision can also cause the supportive discs in the spine to slip out of place, crack or rupture, resulting in what is called a herniated or ruptured disc5. This can be extremely painful if the disc compresses a nerve in the lumbar or cervical spine.


The reality is that cars are bulky, dangerous machines traveling at incredible speeds, capable of causing substantial damage. This is despite the significant advances that have been made in car safety equipment and technology. 

The effects of a car crash on the human body can be extensive and severe. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, it is prudent to consult with a car accident lawyer to discuss the options you can pursue for fair and just compensation. 

  1. Cartwright, Nancy, and Ernan McMullin. “How the laws of physics lie.” (1984): 474-476. ↩︎
  2. Murgatroyd, Darnel F., Ian D. Cameron, and Ian A. Harris. “Understanding the effect of compensation on recovery from severe motor vehicle crash injuries: a qualitative study.” Injury prevention 17.4 (2011): 222-227. ↩︎
  3. Thomas, Celia, et al. “Protection against rear-end accidents.” Proc. IRCOBI Conf., Cologne (Germany). 1982. ↩︎
  4. Karlsson, Ann-Katrin. “Overview: Autonomic dysfunction in spinal cord injury: clinical presentation of symptoms and signs.” Progress in brain research 152 (2006): 1-8. ↩︎
  5. Yu, Peng-Fei, et al. “Outcomes of conservative treatment for ruptured lumbar disc herniation.” Acta Orthop Belg 79.6 (2013): 726-730. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Icy Health Editorial Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *