What are the most common car accident injuries?

Australian roads are vast and many, some are very long and winding and a lot shorter and straightforward. At any given time, on any given day motor vehicle accidents occur on the road, these can be minor bingles or much more serious. Official Australian Data shows that during the 12 months ended March 2022, there were 1,138 road deaths in Australia. During March 2022 there were 94 deaths on Australian roads and 20 of these were on Queensland roads.

No one motor vehicle accident is the same, and no one injury is the same either. There are some common injuries that can occur after motor vehicle accidents that you should be aware of. Any sort of injury should always be seen to by a healthcare professional to ensure you have the correct medical treatment you require for your specific injuries. 

car accident injuries

What causes road accidents?


Driving whilst tired and fatigued can have some severe effects for you and other road users. Driver fatigue is also found to be four times more likely to be a contributing factor in impairment than drugs or alcohol. 


Speeding is dangerous for both you and those you share the road with. Regularly check your speed, and slow down for appropriate road and weather conditions. Speeding causes your reaction times to suffer and puts you at risk of accidents and serious injuries.

Inattention and distraction

There are many different ways to become distracted while driving. Some distractions include:

  • Looking at a phone
  • Not looking at the road
  • Thinking about other things
  • Interrupting noises
  • Removing your hands from the wheel

The best line of defence whilst driving is to avoid distractions as much as possible. It is also important to let your passengers know if they are distracting you.


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause various dangerous side-effects, including a reduced ability to judge distance and speed, impaired vision, and slower reaction times.     

All these factors can contribute to increased possibilities of road accidents occurring. No matter the events that lead to motor vehicle accidents, there are a lot of injuries that can be sustained. A lot of injuries also don’t present themselves right away after an accident, they may take time to develop and worsen over time. It is important to get yourself checked out after an accident and monitor your symptoms as the days and weeks go by.                                                                                                                                    

7 Most Common Injuries

  1. Whiplash

Whiplash is the most common injury and can happen in minor or serious accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions where the impact is unexpected and highest. The impact created when a vehicle hits you can cause your head to jerk backwards. This sudden forward and then backwards movement causes strain on the muscles and tendons of the neck and down the upper back. You may experience neck pain, blurred vision, tingling, headache, or generalised pain after the accident which generally signals whiplash. Whiplash can be painful and take several weeks to recover from, but whiplash rarely results in permanent injury on its own.

  1. Back & Spine Injuries 

The very nature of motor vehicle accidents means that your back can be placed under stress and you may sustain back and spinal injuries. The force and impact of the accident can cause the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the lower back to overstretch or tear. Sprains and strains usually lead to acute low back pain, tightness and muscle spasms. 

  1. Broken bones

The very nature of the vehicles means that they can easily crumple under the pressure of high impact crashes. Your legs, arms, and ribcage may bear the brunt of the accident and can break and fracture easily. Broken bones are very common injuries and are rarely permanent or life-threatening, though some fractures may require surgery to set the bone and place hardware to help your bones heal. Depending on the type of break, you may require time to rest and recover.

  1. Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is often associated with fractures and can be a sign of other serious injuries. If left untreated even for a short time, internal bleeding can lead to the loss of limbs or vital organs and in serious cases can cause death.

  1. Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries

During motor vehicle accidents, you can easily hit your head causing a concussion. You may experience problems with your memories, or feel like your brain is just not working as quickly as it usually does. 

A traumatic brain injury can change the way your brain functions, handles information and processes emotions. While you can you can recover from a brain injury to some degree, depending on the type and severity of the damage, treating it may be a lifelong process.

Any form of brain injury should never be ignored and seeking medical treatment and assessment will put you in the best position to aid in your recovery from such injuries.

  1. Neck Injuries

Tensing or discomfort in the muscles around your neck in the days following a car accident can signal some sort of neck injury. A neck injury can be significant and cause severe pain. You will likely know immediately if you have a fracture following a car accident. If you suspect you have a fracture, do not move without medical assistance. Improper movement could injure your spinal cord and cause paralysis.

  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Anytime our bodies undergo a situation of extreme stress or trauma – such as a motor vehicle accident– there is the potential to develop PTSD. Symptoms can include being scared of driving after an accident, aversion to certain sounds or images, or even sleeping problems due to anxiety or nightmares. Treatment is your best option, as psychologists and therapists can help you combat PTSD and help you return to your normal life.

When we get behind the wheel, we don’t envisage that we will have a motor vehicle accident. If you do find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustaining injuries you may need assistance in varying degrees to help you get back on your feet. Seeking compensation through Smith’s car accident lawyers can help you get back to what you loved doing before your accident.

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