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Car Accidents and Injuries: What Symptoms to Look For

A colorful illustration of an accident on a city street to illustrate car accidents and injuries

Accidents and injuries. They’re not the most pleasant things to think about — so many of us never think about them. If we’re lucky, we never have to, because neither we nor our loved ones will be involved in an accident that involves injuries.

However, the truth is that most of us at one time or another will be involved in some kind of collision out on the road. And it doesn’t take much of a collision for accident injuries and symptoms to begin to appear.

In fact, even a minor fender bender that doesn’t actually bend any fenders can lead to pains that last a lifetime.

How likely is it that regular, everyday driving will lead to an accident?

Higher than you might think, actually.

Likelihood of a Car Accident

In fact, the old saying about flying being safer than driving is true. Esurance reports that more than 3 out of every 4 drivers have been in at least one accident. What’s more, the average driver will be involved in three or four accidents in a lifetime.

The good news is that driving is safer than it used to be. In 2014, U.S. highway fatalities dropped to their lowest level ever, thanks in no small part to advanced vehicle safety technologies. Although the numbers have ticked up since then, the stats still represent historic lows.

Since 3 out of 4 of us will be involved in a car accident at some point, it seems wise to know a little bit about accident injuries and symptoms.

What are some typical post-car-accident symptoms? How long does it take for whiplash symptoms and whiplash side effects to appear? What are some tips on car accident recovery? What can we do to feel better after a motor vehicle accident?

Accident Injuries

There are many injuries that can happen during vehicle accidents — some more serious than others. A few of the more prevalent auto accident injuries (in no particular order):

  • Whiplash injury
  • Injuries to neck or shoulder
  • Herniated disc
  • Blood clot
  • Neck injuries or neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Bruises to soft tissues
  • Traumatic brain injuries (common symptoms: loss of consciousness, headache, nausea, fatigue, speech problems)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain

Let’s look at whiplash, one of the most common injuries related to car accidents.


The Mayo Clinic describes whiplash as an injury that occurs when the head “is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. This motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.”

It often occurs in rear-end collisions, physical abuse, and contact sports. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, numbness or tingling in the arms, and dizziness. The onset of symptoms is usually within 24 hours of an incident.

Treatment can include icing the affected areas and over-the-counter painkillers. As always, go to the doctor if you’re in pain.

Car Accident Recovery

Physical therapy can help with a lot of these ailments listed above. Others are much more worrisome. Please consult with your doctor if you’ve been in an accident.

McCollum Auto Body

The expert auto body repair technicians at McCollum want you to be safe out there on the road. That’s why we work so hard to return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition according to manufacturers’ specifications.

We want you to have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will be returned to its pre-loss condition when it leaves our shops. All of those tremendous safety features that protect you and your loved ones out there on the busy roads will be intact and fully functional.

It may be statistically likely that you’ll be involved in an accident one of these days. But it sure is nice to know that modern technology has helped create cars that keep you secure in the event of a traffic collision.

It’s also good to know that McCollum is on your side, ready to work with you to get your vehicle looking and driving as good as new.

Be safe out there! And be sure to contact McCollum Auto Body with any questions.