Long Term Consequences of Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in The United States, someone dies every twelve minutes, and every fourteen seconds someone is injured, in an automobile accident. Statistics show there are approximately six million automobile accidents yearly, which result in three million injuries, two million of which are permanent, and approximately forty thousand results in death.
In over half of the accident related deaths, the deceased were not wearing their seatbelts. Over forty percent of accidents were alcohol related and over thirty percent were caused by excessive speed and another thirty percent were caused by reckless driving.
More Than Skin Deep
We are all aware that automobile accidents cause deaths and injuries in the thousands every year, but did you know that besides short and long term physical ramifications that there may also be short and long term psychological ramifications? Anxieties and phobias caused by automobile accidents affect thousands of people every year. Studies show that even in low impact, non-injury accidents that people may suffer from some manner of post-traumatic stress disorder for from a few months to a year or more.
In a study of more than 1,000 men and women who had been taken to a hospital after an accident, most of the persons were shown to have recovered from any psychological impact within three months to one year. Others experienced the effects more long term, and others were shown to have suddenly developed anxiety and other symptoms months after the accident. Most of the people with prolonged psychological disorders were passengers in the accident rather than drivers.
These fears or anxieties ranged from fear of riding in or driving a car, to a complete cessation of riding or driving. Just like long term physical problems, long term psychological problems can have an ongoing detriment to your health, as well as other aspects of your life. Persons may experience long term stress that affects their sleep habits and work performance as well as cause problems in their personal relationships and that these problems may compound and lead to long term depression.
Often, just as with physical injury, persons may benefit from therapy or drug treatment for their anxiety or depression caused by involvement in automobile accidents. Just remember, an injury doesn’t necessarily have to be physical to have long term effects on your overall health and well being. Therapies can be beneficial in many ways and can be discussed with your doctor.