I have read many studies over the years, and one study that has stuck with me was conducted by the National Traffic and Safety Administration. This study reported that every 10 seconds someone in the United Stated is injured in an automobile accident. Most people who have been involved in an accident, either as a driver or passenger, experience some degree of anxiety.
Do passengers suffer more?
Another similar study indicated that at least 30% of accident victims suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, depression and other phobias one year after the accident. Part of this study was testing whether people with severe injuries are the ones who suffer from the more complicated psychological complications. The study showed that was not true. Also shown in this study was that passengers were more likely to suffer from persistent anxiety than drivers.
The anxiety can take the form of uneasy feelings while driving or riding in cars and possibly avoiding cars all together. Other triggers could be passing the site of the accident, seeing similar road conditions, traveling in the same vehicle or even a vehicle that is similar in color and style. Unfortunately, the trauma caused by the accident can lead to more significant and long term stress that can lead to depression, sleep problems as well as many other problems. Most can expect some degree of anxiety shortly after an accident. If the anxiety persists in the form frequent thoughts and dreams about the accident or still avoiding certain driving situations, it may be time to see a doctor. They can help solve what is causing those thoughts and behaviors.
Almost every car accident victim that comes into my office has some sort of anxiety and sleep problems after their car accident. Breaking out in cold sweets or being apprehensive when passing the location of the wreck are common symptoms. This is a very real mental injury and can have a significant effect on the settlement value of the car accident case. It is important that these symptoms are documented with your doctor. This will not only help your case, but it’ll help the doctor help you overcome this very real injury.