Car accidents account for over 32,000 deaths each year. While others walk away with varying degrees of injuries. Injuries can range from minor bumps, bruises, cuts, or anxiety to major injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or disabilities. If you are injured in a car accident, most people worry about the injuries that they suffer immediately and forget to think about the long-term health problems that can arise several years later.
Disclosure: Thank you Cars.com for sponsoring today’s topic. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own. If you are involved in a major car accident, please seek help from an attorney.
Remember that any injuries from a car accident today could affect your long term health. For example, I was rear-ended in a car accident in 1998. I walked away with long term health problems as a result of those injuries. At the time of the car accident, I was worried about my immediate health problems and didn’t think about the long term effects of those injuries.
The accident occurred in my early 20s and the doctor said that I would eventually heal because I was young. I really wish that I didn’t listen to him and that I would have advocated for more answers. I can’t change the past but my goal is to help make you aware of the long term health problems that could potentially happen because of a car accident.
What Can You Do to Lower Your Risk of a Car Accident?
Even though we can’t always predict other people’s behavior on the road, we can control our own actions when we get behind the wheel of the car. Here are some ways that you try to prevent an accident so that you don’t have to replace your car. If you do end up having an accident and need to replace your car, we recommend doing all of your research on Cars.com to determine which car is right for you and your needs.
Distracted driving is a huge problem on the road. With a little bit of mindfulness, we can all do our part to help reduce distracted driving. When you are multitasking at the wheel, it is proven that you will have a slower reaction time to respond things going on around you such as changes in traffic movement, speed limit changes, missing a stop sign or traffic light, etc. According to Federal estimates, distracted driving contributes to 16% of all fatal car accidents.
Texting and Driving
This falls under distracted driving but it is a huge problem especially with teenagers. Texting and driving accounts for over 64% of traffic accidents in the United States. It takes a minimum of 3 seconds once you take your eyes and concentration off driving in order to glance at their phone for an accident to happen. A split second is all it takes for a car to back out in front of you, someone to slam on their brakes, a child to run out into the street chasing a ball and for you to react to it.
Driving While Drowsy
Do you get enough sleep at night? Have you ever felt too tired in the morning to get behind the wheel of your car? Recent studies have determined that driving when you haven’t had enough sleep at night could have catastrophic consequences and increase your chances of getting into a motor vehicle accident. When you don’t get enough sleep, it causes your reaction times to become slower, your decision-making skills become harder, and you are more likely to make a series of bad choices.
People often try to mask drowsiness by drinking caffeine or taking a cold shower before heading out the door to work. These tactics don’t reduce your chances of being involved in a crash. Instead, you should focus on improving your sleep pattern so that you are getting ample amounts of sleep each night. There isn’t a test that can be performed to determine if you are too sleepy to drive and officers aren’t trained to determine if an accident was caused by drowsy driving.
There isn’t a test that can be performed to determine if you are too sleepy to drive and officers aren’t trained to determine if an accident was caused by drowsy driving. If so, the number of car accidents from drowsy driving would dramatically decrease.
Driving While Impaired
During drivers ed training and defensive driving courses, tend to put a huge emphasis on driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, alcohol isn’t the only problem. Impaired driving also includes drugs, both recreational and those prescribed by the doctor, that renders the driver incapable of driving a motor vehicle. If in doubt, it is best to stay home or find another ride such as Uber or a taxi.
While it is tempting to speed from time to time, it is one of the top reasons why car accidents happen. Remember that the speed limit is a suggested rate of speed that is deemed safe for the roadway. However, conditions change frequently due to weather, traffic, accidents, and debris on the roadway at any given time. When you going in excess of the speed limit, you are also more likely to be involved in a serious accident. Speeding is responsible for more personal injuries and fatal accidents.
Aggressive driving is the act in which your behaviors while behind the wheel put other people or property in danger without any regards to their safety. So think twice before you decide to weave in and out of traffic, change lanes too quickly, following too closely, or other dangerous behaviors. You can also be charged with reckless driving too.
The Real Cost of a Car Accident
Not only do you have to think about your long term health, you will also be faced with some tough financial decisions as well. Financial problems can cause additional stress especially if you have to replace your car or have injuries. Even if you don’t cause the accidents, you too will have to deal with the stress and hassle of dealing with the aftermath.
Here are a few of the financial costs that you might encounter if you are involved in a car accident:
- insurance rate increase
- car repairs
- renting a car
- towing fees if your car can’t be driven
- settling your old loan and finding a new car if yours can’t be fixed
- current medical bills
- long term or future medical bills if you are injured
- missed time from work or lost productivity
- the cost of long term medical problems
- lawyer fees
Car accidents can’t always be avoided and even the most careful driver may be involved in a car crash at some point. If you are involved in a car accident, it is best to remain calm and call 911. Don’t move if you suspect that you have any injuries. Moving could cause further injuries and complications. It is even possible that you won’t realize that you have been hurt until several hours after the accident or even a few days later. Do seek medical attention for any injuries that you have obtained even if it is several days later.
There are thousands of car accidents a day but with a bit of mindfulness, you can help make the roadway a bit safer. Practice these top safety tips to help prevent a car accident and protect your long term health.