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What are some mental health effects of surviving a car accident?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Most people are aware of the physical trauma that can occur when someone gets into an automobile accident. However, it is important to note that psychological trauma can be part of the experience as well. Although largely invisible to others, mental suffering is just as important to address as a broken bone, cut or bruise.

Here are some of the most common mental health effects that people experience after surviving a car accident in Indiana.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur after someone goes through an experience that is particularly shocking or frightening. A bad car accident can trigger PTSD and cause symptoms such as flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, trouble with concentration and angry outbursts. Everyone deals with PTSD differently, but this is a condition for which sufferers should seek professional care.

Survivors’ guilt

Survivors’ guilt arises when someone goes through a shared traumatic experience where one or more people died during the ordeal. Along with car accidents, people who survive serious crimes also tend to experience survivors’ guilt. Symptoms are similar to those of PTSD and may include flashbacks, irritability and constant thoughts of the situation.


Having something bad happen while driving or riding in the car can make people extremely hesitant or fearful of getting back into a vehicle again. People might feel very tense at the thought of driving again or feel as though they will get into another crash each time they drive.

By knowing some of the mental health consequences of surviving a car accident, people are better able to get the help that they need.