Causes of Automobile Accidents

A car accident is often a traumatic incident for everyone involved. While some accidents are unavoidable, there are many precautions you can take to decrease the likelihood of your having to enlist an auto accident attorney, let alone dealing with possible injuries. Here are some of the things you should stay away from if you want to drive as safely as possible.

Texting has become a huge problem for those on the road. Because people are so attached to their phones now, it seems natural to continue texting while behind the wheel, but this is an extremely dangerous activity. Your eyes should be on the road at all times, and they simply can’t be if you keep glancing at your phone and typing out messages. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to leave the phone at home or keep it turned off. Even just talking on the cell phone while driving is unsafe, so resist the temptation. In addition, many states have laws on the books that make texting and talking while driving an offense that can be punished; if nothing else, it is a good idea to avoid the liability that comes with using your phone while driving, as it can contribute to a decision of fault in the case of an accident.

If possible, try not to drive with obnoxious passengers. Of course, this is not an issue that is entirely within your control, especially if you are a parent and the unruly ones are your kids. However, the more noisy and raucous your passengers are, the more likely it is that you will be distracted and miss something important on the road. If you must drive with others who are inclined to be disruptive, find ways to encourage good behavior and learn how to tune out the chatter. In the case of driving with your children as passengers, try to provide them with stimulating activities that will take up their attention during the trip, so that they do not become bored and unruly.

Any auto accident attorney can tell you that one of the most serious issues when it comes to safe driving is drinking alcohol. Despite the wide awareness of how dangerous it is to drive while under the influence, many people still do it. If you go someplace where you plan to drink, make sure that you have a designated drive or another exit strategy. For instance, have a friend drop you off at the bar and then plan to take a cab home. If your senses are impaired, you should not be driving. Even if you are not over the legal limit, your ability to accurately judge conditions around you that are important to driving safely can become compromised. And of course if you are involved in an accident while impaired, there can be even greater consequences than are typically found in car accident cases, which can seriously restrict your ability to receive compensation for injuries or damage to your own vehicle.

Finally, one of the greatest hazards in driving is doing so without a seatbelt. This strap may seem like a nuisance, leading many people to not bother with it, but it can save lives. Many people who walk away from car accidents with minor injuries learn from their doctor that they probably would have been seriously injured or killed had they not been strapped in. When this simple action that causes minimal discomfort is so capable of protecting a person from catastrophic injury, it’s sheer foolishness not to take advantage of it. Buckle up as soon as you get in the car. Additionally, do what you can to ensure that others who are riding with you use their seatbelts as well. While it may not be as easy to enforce with adult passengers as with children, try to establish firm rules for your car if it is possible and refuse to provide individuals with a ride if they will not keep their seatbelt fastened.

There are many other issues that contribute to damages and injuries in car accidents, but this list contains four of the most common ones. If you have questions about other ways to avoid an accident, get in touch with a local driver instruction program; they frequently have information available for drivers of all levels of experience that is helpful. Be vigilant in keeping yourself safe when you are on the road. If you do get into an accident, make sure to retain the services of an attorney to assist in your claims.

A Whiplash Injury May Be More Serious Than You Realize

Whiplash, also known as a neck strain or sprain, is an injury to the muscular and soft tissues of the neck region. It commonly occurs when a person or persons in a car are rear-ended by another vehicle. Even with a seat headrest in place, the sudden impact causes a backward and forward jarring movement that over-flexes the ligaments, tendons and muscles beyond their normal elasticity, resulting in injury. A whiplash injury may cause complications and long-term serious side effects which could require the consultation of an auto accident attorney in order to avoid mounting costs for treatment.

Most Common Cause and Affected Area

Whiplash is one of the most frequent injuries that can happen during a rear end vehicular impact. A vehicle can be stopped or in motion when another vehicle strikes the rear portion of the vehicle. The weight of the head, in conjunction with the neck’s built-in ability to flex in several directions, causes a sudden force of uncontrolled momentum in this weak spot, allowing the head to pitch violently backward and then forward. Even an off-angled hit can cause a sudden sidewise motion. The upper back muscles may be affected due to the muscle, ligament and tendon attachment to the neck. Normally the ability of the connective tissue in the neck to flex and extend is a protective function that prevents more dangerous injuries to the delicate spinal column; however sudden, violent movement is not a factor that a person’s neck is designed to withstand.


The symptoms associated with whiplash most commonly include pain to the top portion of the back in the area below the base of the neck. Sensations of tightness, along with muscle spasms or sensitivity in the neck or upper back are also often felt. Dizziness or headache may occur and persist for hours or even days, depending upon the severity of the original injury. There may be difficulty in chewing or swallowing, accompanied by a speech abnormality such as hoarseness. Pain in either shoulder might be felt, along with a tingling, numb or burning sensation. Minor whiplash injuries can usually be treated by the alternating application of moist heat and ice packs, and sometimes by chiropractic adjustment, pain medications, ultrasound or laser treatment. Sometimes neck braces are prescribed after treatment to keep the neck immobile so it may heal correctly. The neck brace is designed to keep the tissues immobile and to remove the strain of normal movement—if your doctor prescribes a brace, ensure that you use it, so that you do not compromise your recovery.

Serious Complications—What You Might Not Know

In cases of severe impact, the vertebrae of the neck and upper back can be displaced or dislocated, resulting in a wedge fracture, ruptured disc and pinched nerves. This condition is serious and can lead to a partial or full paralysis which may require expensive, corrective surgery. Even in cases that do not require surgical intervention, injuries to the vertebrae can result in long-term pain, particularly if they are not treated quickly.

The condition temporomandibular joint syndrome, known as TMJ, can cause a soreness or locking of the jaw, chewing pain and discomfort from the ear up to the temple area. In severe cases of TMJ, surgery is performed to remove adhesion (tissue knots), or scarring and fracture chips in the joint. The larynx and esophagus can sustain damage, prompting symptoms of chewing and swallowing pain. TMJ can be a result of severe whiplash, as it can result from damage to the cervical spine.

Whiplash injuries may induce memory loss due to a concussion sustained in the accident, and this can be the result of unseen hemorrhaging or fractures that were not immediately detected.


Routine X-rays will determine if there is obvious damage to the vertebral column and surrounding tissues. However, simple radiographs might not find other underlying damage, in which case a MRI or CT scan must be performed to discover more complicated ligament injuries, small fractures and herniated discs. A doctor may also perform a variety of hands-on tests to determine things like range of motion and pain response.

Symptoms of severe joint and spinal injuries may be unnoticeable for days, weeks, months and in some cases years. Any persons involved in a whiplash injury accident should seek the advice and treatment of a chiropractor or doctor. Those who believe that they have sustained injury should contact a professional auto accident attorney for advice and legal procedures for compensation.

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