Solutions to traumatic car accidents


Billy Beaty

We can all agree that one of the most traumatic experiences we can encounter are car crashes. The results of the accidents are the worst part. The injuries, damages and the payments all add up. But what doesn’t happen is still high on the list of problems.
When people are at fault in a crash, they should be required to go back and renew their license to make sure they don’t have any future issues when on the road.
I’ve been in three car accidents, one of them causing trauma. Though I was not driving, I was in the front passenger seat.
My father and I were driving in a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. We were moving north on State Farm Parkway, on a three-way intersection with East Nifong Boulevard when we were caught in a line behind two cars. Cars were taking turns turning onto East Nifong and still going north on State Farm Parkway.
When it was our turn, a blue sedan pulled out in front of us. We t-boned each other, and we ended up side by side. Both of our cars were totaled, but hers was absolutely destroyed. All of her airbags were deployed, so it was impossible to see inside of her car.
After the accident, I developed chest and ankle pains when my foot got caught in the damage of the front interior, and the airbags punched me right in the chest. What really struck me was how badly rattled the driver of the sedan was. She was a young woman, no more than 25 years old. She was silent and seemed scared and traumatized. Curled up in a ball, she sat on the curb, staring into space.
When I saw her sitting there so shaken, all I could think was that this experience was going to stick with her for the rest of her life. That sprouted another idea: What if she developed post-traumatic stress and could cause another accident like this or worse?
I wasn’t even driving, and I was scared. Whenever I go by that intersection, I get paranoid. I flinch at the slightest movement of cars. I also see images of the totaled van and how bad the wreck was. If it’s that bad for me, I can’t imagine what it is like for that girl whenever she gets flashbacks.
That’s when I thought that everyone involved in the initial crash should all go get checked out both mentally and physically to see if there are any issues that could cause future problems on the road or wrecks.
This solution also wouldn’t hurt in any situation of that sort. Any type of car crash, even small ones, can cause trauma, even if one doesn’t realize it at first. In fact, for men car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD. For women, it is the second cause for this disorder, according to the Veterans’ Affairs study on post-traumatic stress. It is safer to get checked out right after the incident than risk getting into another one. It will never be certain if a choice like that could later affect one’s life or how it would affect him/her.
Because of this situation, it is clear that people involved in accidents like the one I happened to be in should check on for their mental health and other factors that could affect them when driving on the road. If these people are on the road, they could cause another accident by hyperventilating or other possible reactions to a situation on the road and cause another accident. If this happens, then someone else involved in the later accident could develop PTSD, thus spreading the situation.  
Whenever someone gets into a potentially traumatic accident, he/she needs to check themselves out with a doctor. It is not a hard task to do, and it could only help this person, both mentally or physically.