If you are beginning the search for a new car or truck, you may find all the new features amazing, including safety innovations.
Unfortunately, many safety features only target certain parts of the body and the back and spine remain vulnerable to injury.
Safety features for vehicles continue to evolve but even the latest innovations are mostly aimed at protecting the head and chest. Airbags and seatbelts are standard even on older vehicles, but this kind of protection, while important, can shift the force of an impact to your back. If this happens, a spinal injury is often the result.
Types of spinal injuries
You may have experienced whiplash or known someone who has. This type of injury to the neck is quite common for the victim of a rear-end collision because the impact causes the head to snap back and forth. A more severe result of a vehicle crash is a spinal fracture, which can cause pain, muscle weakness, numbness or even bladder problems and may require surgery. In addition, because vertebrae absorb much of the force of a collision, one or more discs might shift and compress nearby nerves. This is disc herniation, an injury that may also require surgery.
What to expect
Despite having the latest safety features in your new vehicle, even a low speed rear-end collision is enough to cause a significant injury to the back or spine. Although the impact can cause muscle damage or a spinal injury to occur, symptoms such as soreness, headaches, dizziness or blurred vision may not surface immediately, so prompt medical attention is always advisable. A back or spinal injury might require a long period of rehabilitation and, in some cases, lifelong treatment. Keep in mind that anyone who suffers an injury due to the negligence of another has a right to expect financial compensation to cover both current and future medical expenses, lost wages and more.