Car accidents can cause far-reaching physical injuries that prevent their victims from returning to work and limiting their mobility. While this type of trauma is common with serious wrecks, there are some lesser-known psychological problems that may occur as well.
WebMD notes that individuals suffer injuries every 10 seconds on roads and highways in the United States, so both drivers and passengers may want to remain aware of the psychological impact these accidents may have.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Some individuals may experience post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident and experience certain triggers when driving or riding in a car. For example, they may re-live the accident or feel extreme panic during certain moments, such as:
- Passing the scene of the accident
- Witnessing the aftermath of another accident
- Riding or driving in weather or road conditions that remind them of the crash
This panic may occur unexpectedly for people who are not aware of the problem.
A car accident may cause feelings of anxiety for people when they begin to drive or ride in cars once they recover. They may feel uneasy or unable to relax in a vehicle, especially one similar to the one involved in the crash. In some cases, the anxiety may cause affected individuals to avoid driving or riding in a car altogether.
Stress can cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. Victims of previous car wrecks may feel stress as they deal with the aftermath, such as whether to accept a settlement from someone’s insurance company or if they are unable to return to work.
Those who experience psychological trauma after a car wreck may want to seek assistance to resolve this issue. If left untreated, it may grow worse and have a severe impact on day-to-day life.