Car accidents can result in a range of injuries, some of which can be life-threatening. One of the most common types that Virginia motorists can sustain is to the chest, which can result from blunt force trauma or penetration injuries.
Rib fractures are common chest injuries in car accidents. A collision’s impact can cause the ribs to break, resulting in sharp pain, difficulty breathing and potential damage to internal organs. Rib fractures can be particularly dangerous for older adults, as they can increase the risk of pneumonia, lung collapse and other complications.
Sternal fractures occur when the sternum, or breastbone, breaks due to the sheer force of impact. This type of injury often occurs when the chest strikes the steering wheel or dashboard during a collision. Sternal fractures can cause severe pain and discomfort, and in some cases, can lead to damage to internal organs, including the heart, lungs and major blood vessels.
Pulmonary contusions occur when the lung tissue is bruised or damaged due to blunt force trauma. This type of chest injury can be caused by the chest striking the steering wheel, dashboard or seatbelt during a car accident. Pulmonary contusions can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood and potentially fatal complications such as pneumonia, lung collapse or respiratory failure.
Cardiac injuries occur when the heart is damaged from the impact, either due to blunt force trauma or penetration injuries, such as from broken ribs or steering wheel impact. Cardiac injuries can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats and life-threatening complications such as cardiac arrest.
Preventing chest injuries in car accidents
Wearing seat belts properly and ensuring they are adjusted to fit correctly can help prevent chest injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, drivers should ensure their cars’ airbags are properly maintained and functional. Driving safely, avoiding distractions and following traffic laws can help reduce the risk of a car accident and reduce the severity of collisions when they occur.
Staying safe on the road
Along with injuries to the head, chest injuries are a major concern in car accidents. It is essential to take proper preventative measures by following traffic laws and ensuring your vehicle’s tires, brakes, seatbelts and airbags are properly maintained. If you are involved in a car accident and experience chest pain, difficulty breathing or other chest-related symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.