Car Crashes Cause PTSD–It’s Normal!

by Steve Waldman

Steve Waldman

Every year, approximately 1% of the U.S. population is injured in car crashes; that’s 3,000,000 injured Americans every year! People are accustomed to hearing about damage to necks and backs from car wrecks. However, according to Dr. Todd Buckley with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, “Mental health difficulties such as post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety are problems survivors of MVAs (motor vehicle accidents) may exhibit.”

There are factors that can affect whether a person will develop PTSD following a car crash. Some of them relate to the condition of the person before the crash. Others refer to the nature of the crash itself. There are also post-accident factors.

Victims who have pre-incident mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, or poor social support (family or economic issues), are at increased risk for PTSD. People who have experienced emotional pain before an incident are more likely to suffer PTSD after an incident.

The factors of the crash itself that can lead to PTSD are the potential life-threat (the sensation that your life is in danger), the severity of injury, or the loss of life of others. “As the amount of physical injury and fear of dying increase, the chance of PTSD also increases.”

Post-incident factors include the rate of physical recovery, the amount of social support received from friends and family, and the level of re-engagement in work and social activities. The more isolated a person feels from his or her routine, the more likely that person will develop PTSD, anxiety, or depression.

PTSD can affect people in different ways, including nightmares, “flashbacks,” or extreme anxiety when encountering reminders of the trauma. Some people become physically ill when reacting to the stress of PTSD.

We find that the most important advice we can give our clients is that feelings of anxiety, depression, or PTSD after a severe injury are NORMAL, and they can be TREATED. No one should suffer needlessly because of the negligence of a bad driver!

Contact Us If You Suffer From Car Crash PTSD

If you, a family member, or a friend has PTSD, anxiety, or depression from a car crash, let us help you!