If you’ve ever gotten tackled in a full-contact football game, you know firsthand that it does much more than knock the wind out of you. Depending upon the intensity of the hit and the type of protective gear you’re wearing, injuries could range from mild to severe, like a few bruised ribs to a concussion.
For those who’ve never had the pleasure of playing tackle football before, an injury like a concussion isn’t entirely out of the question. Even a small fender bender can cause a more serious head injury that could warrant a trip to the hospital.
Getting in a mild to severe car accident could potentially injure any area of your body. However, physicians and experienced insurance claims processors can verify that some of the most common car accident injuries include:
This may include a mild concussion or even a traumatic brain injury.
The face can easily become injured in a car accident as it hits the dashboard, steering wheel, side window, windshield, or airbag.
May include whiplash or neck strain, ranging up to a more serious neck injury like disc damage or cervical radiculopathy.
May be noticed immediately or in the future, including strain, sprain, fractures, spine injury, disc injury, or lumbar radiculopathy.
Most injuries are related to the impact of the crash
Similar to a car accident, a full-contact sports injury can cause damage any part of the body. Sports injuries can vary greatly based on the type and intensity of game, although the most common sports related injuries include:
Concussion in a sports game is caused by a blow to the head.
Include some type of damage to the shoulder, whether it’s a sprain, strain, or dislocation.
May be caused by a one-time injury or strain that accumulates over time, including sciatica, back spasms, and bulging discs.
A common knee injury is the tearing of the ligament that keeps the knee joint stable.
Trauma injuries can be sustained from impact, as well as overuse or improper use of the body.
After taking the time to review the injuries listed above, you can clearly see that many sports and car accident injuries have distinct similarities. First and foremost, car accident victims and athletes are at a serious risk for head injury, like a concussion due to the impact of a crash or tackle in a contact sport.
Car accident victims may also suffer with chronic back pain from impact, similar to an athlete with back pain from an overuse injury or a one-time tackle that causes damage to the back or spine. In a car accident, most injuries are related to the impact of the crash; in a contact sport, trauma injuries can be sustained from impact, as well as overuse or improper use of the body.
To shed further light on the issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that roughly 6 million car accidents occur every year in the US, resulting in statistics like:
Passenger injuries are caused by traffic accidents
of all car accident injuries occur in an SUV
Fatal crashes occurred in 2010.
Fatal crashes are most likely to occur on a Saturday.
Of all car crash victims become disabled.
of traffic fatalities involve drunk driving
of traffic fatalities involve speeding
The US Department of Transportation estimates that a driver will have a near-crash 1-2 times per month with a collision occurring every six years.
Football injuries occur every year, twice as many as any other sport.
Of college football players confirmed shoulder injuries
Were reported per 1000 games or practices.
Of football injuries were knee injuries
Of football injuries were in the lower extremities
Football fatalities continue to remain high with small drops over the past decade.
Whether you get hit by another driver or hit by a linebacker, one thing is clear: A concussion is a definite risk you need to be aware of.
A concussion is categorized as a minor traumatic brain injury that takes place after the head hits another object or a moving object hits the head.
A concussion can occur in a car accident, in a sports game, or even during a fall. Once the brain is jostled in any direction inside the skull, you can lose alertness and potentially become unconscious. The amount of time that you remain unconscious could be related to the severity of the concussion.
Many people experience a concussion without passing out or realizing that they have passed out. They may see black or white in their vision or “see stars."
A concussion is categorized as a minor traumatic brain injury that takes place after the head hits another object or a moving object hits the head.A concussion doesn’t always mean a loss of consciousness
Car accidents are estimated to be responsible for 17.3% of all traumatic brain injuries
30% of all driver have a chance of getting into a serious car accident in their lifetime
Sports injuries are estimated to be responsible for 16.5% of all traumatic brain injuries
8% of all NFL players suffer concussions or another type of brain injury
Nausea / vomiting
Seeing flashes of light
Changes in consciousness
For any severe symptoms of a concussion, like a continuous loss of consciousness or lingering confusion, it’s important to consult a doctor right away. It’s also advised to call 911 since a person with a traumatic brain injury needs to be moved very carefully to protect the neck and spine
Of TBI hospitalizations involved adults 75 and older
Of TBI emergency room visits involved children from 0-4 years old.
Men are more likely to have a traumatic brain injury than women
Traumatic brain injuries caused by a sports game, increase up to 25% among children ages 0 to 14 years old
While you may consider yourself a sports fanatic, either on the field or watching a game on the couch, it’s important to understand how a high-risk contact sport can lead to many of the common injuries listed above.
While contact sports like hockey can cause their share of injuries on the ice, football is a sport that often takes the cake because of its intensity in high-impact tackles. Some of the most horrifying football injuries of all time include:
Forced into early retirement
Broken vertebrae and a compressed spinal cord. Forced to life in a wheelchair
Paralyzed from the chest down
Forced into early retirement
A catastrophic spinal cord injury, he was able to walk again on his own within three months
In both a football game and a car accident, it may be difficult to detect the effects of a head trauma until after a player or passenger has been brought to the hospital. The key factor that both events have in common is major impact to the head without prior warning.
Given the fact that more people drive cars than play football, a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident is more likely to occur.
Yet it doesn’t make the damage any less significant when a concussion is incurred in a football game instead of on the road. According to a Virginia
Tech study, football players that receive a
blow to the head 30 to 50 times a game
experience the same impact as
passengers in a car crash.
While it may be true that many football players can withstand a harder blow than the average person because of stronger neck and shoulder muscles, half of the hits recorded in the study were greater than 30 Gs, up to more than 130 Gs for the hardest hit. This is compared to 120 Gs in the impact of a severe car accident where a passenger was wearing a seatbelt.
Wear a seatbelt at all times
Educate athletes and coaches about concussions before practice
Always riding in a car with air bags
Monitor the health of athletes with regular medical evaluations
Making sure that children ride in the proper car seats
Teach and practice safe techniques on the field
Transporting heavy objects in the trunk of a vehicle
Wear the proper protective equipment at all times
Keeping your head pointed forward during an accident
Don’t ever allow an athlete to play with a concussion
When comparing injuries sustained from a football game or a car accident, it’s hard to come to a definite conclusion. Depending upon the impact of the hit, a passenger in a vehicle is just as likely to suffer serious head trauma as a football player, making early concussion detection critical.
To prevent a traumatic brain injury, stick with the golden rule: Drive safe and play safer to remain injury-free.
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