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How common is whiplash in an auto accident?

| Apr 21, 2021 | Injuries

As a Massachusetts motorist, you are likely aware that certain types of car accidents may result in consistent types of injuries, such as whiplash. The Mayo Clinic reports that rear-end car accidents are typically the most common cause of this injury; however, whiplash may also occur in other types of vehicle collisions.

Remaining aware of the risk of whiplash and the symptoms that may occur after a car accident may help you avoid long-term medical complications when this problem goes undiagnosed.

Recognizing whiplash

Whiplash can occur in almost any type of rear-end or side-impact auto accident, where your neck moves violently due to the force of the crash. The symptoms are often not immediately noticeable and may manifest hours or days after the wreck, including:

  • A limited range of neck motion
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained irritability

Whiplash may occur even at low speeds, but understanding the overall risk may help you identify the signs more quickly so there is less of a chance of long-term injury.

Whiplash risks

There is a higher risk of whiplash during a high-speed car wreck or if the car does not have updated safety devices in place, such as passenger or rear-seat airbags. You may also have an increased risk if you experienced whiplash injuries in the past. Age can also affect the severity of whiplash, especially if you are a senior.

Recent whiplash may cause you chronic pain, especially if you already experience neck or back pain due to arthritis or other muscular or spinal conditions. If symptoms increase or you have vision changes, it is wise to see your physician as soon as possible.