Motor Vehicle Accident Trauma

Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are one of the leading causes of death and injuries worldwide are motor vehicle accidents (MVA). About 10% of people who experience serious car accidents develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The American Psychological Association found MVAs to be the number one cause of PTSD in men and the second highest cause of PTSD in women.

What are the symptoms of PTSD caused by motor vehicle accidents?
After a traumatic accident post-traumatic stress symptoms are often experienced. Common symptoms after a MVA include increased arousal and incidences of re-experiencing the accident. Avoidance symptoms may also occur, and often manifest in three ways: a general phobia of driving, setting limitations on one’s amount of driving, and anxious behaviors when a passenger in a motor vehicle.

What are the risk factors for developing PTSD after a motor vehicle accident?

  • A severe accident
  • Fatalities or serious injuries among those involved
  • A perceived life-threatening event
  • Intrusive memories immediately following the event (flashback)
  • Subsequent difficulty in driving or traveling in vehicles
  • History of prior traumatic experiences
  • History of an underlying psychiatric disorder
  • Ongoing litigation

What should one seek treatment for post-traumatic symptoms following a motor vehicle accident?
Many people who survive a MVA may experience post-traumatic related symptoms. These symptoms, for a brief period of time after the accident, are normal and understanding how to cope with trauma can be helpful in their alleviation. If symptoms persist and impair one’s quality of life, there are short-term focused trauma treatments that are available.

If you are in Israel and are experiencing post-traumatic symptoms as a result of a car accident, the METIV clinic offers a counseling and assessment session. Recommendation for further treatment will be given as required. In cases where there is an insurance claim, METIV offers the option of postponing treatment payment until the claim’s completion.