When car accidents occur, certain injuries tend to occur more than others because of the velocity and weight of the vehicles involved, and head trauma is one of the most common. The Mayo Clinic notes that car accidents cause a variety of brain injuries in both children and adults during crashes; however, almost any driver or passenger can experience this trauma.
Brain injuries come in many forms, and learning to recognize the symptoms may prevent long-term medical issues for those injured.
This type of brain injury usually occurs when one vehicle strikes another at a moderate rate of speed and an individual’s brain strikes the inside of the skull. Concussions may not present symptoms right away and these may show up hours later, including:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
Victims of a concussion may feel drowsy as well, and if they cannot stay awake, friends or loved ones may want to take them to a doctor as soon as possible.
Open brain injuries
In the case of serious car accidents, ejection from the vehicle or objects that penetrate the skull can cause open brain injuries, where the skull becomes fractured or penetrated, such as by a piece of metal flung free of the vehicle at the moment of impact. These types of traumatic brain injuries are often life-threatening and can cause unconsciousness and draining of fluids through the ears or nose. Those affected will likely need medical attention immediately or run a serious risk of long-term cognitive and physical problems.
Adults and children may not display the same symptoms after a vehicle accident-related TBI. Those with mental or behavioral changes may need medical assistance to treat such an injury.