A car accident can put every part of the body at risk, especially the arms and shoulders. There are several reasons for this. The arms are a very vulnerable area with weak points at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The arms are also used almost constantly to steer and control a car, leaving them out in a position where they can be easily injured. When a car is in an accident, in most instances the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. This exposes the arms to injuries from flying debris that can cause deep cuts that sever muscles or nerves, or it can make it easier for a piece of the car to actually impact the arm and break the bones.
Inside of a car, there are many areas like the steering wheel, the seat belt, and even convenience compartments between seats where the hands and arms can easily get trapped or jammed. This can happen unintentionally during an accident if a driver is knocked out of position or if they are attempting to protect their face or another passenger. One result of this can be heavy damage to the shoulder such as a torn rotator cuff or a dislocated scapula. If an arm is locked in a fixture inside of the cabin, there is also a chance it can be broken if the driver’s body is forced into an awkward position by the collision. The shoulder can also be dislocated causing a large amount of pain.
Depending on the position of the arm, it can be injured by being forced through the windshield. This can occur when a person raises their arm before an unexpected collision. An arm that is pushed through a windshield can have very serious cuts, some of which could pass through the muscles and reduce the amount of dexterity the individual will have later. In some cases, the driver’s arms can actually be caught in the car door or another part of the vehicle and might have to be amputated if it has sustained severe internal damage to the veins and arteries. Some of the arm injuries that result from car accidents can be treated and will heal over time, but some are so serious that they will impair a person’s ability to use their hand, shoulder, and arm for the rest of their life.