Car Accident Trauma – Acute Stress Disorder

Car accidents can cause physical pain but also emotional issues. No matter if you have been in a severe car crash, a fender bender, or a passenger in a car accident, you might be suffering from acute stress disorder. Find out if you might have acute stress disorder symptoms and what to do about it.

Definition of Acute Stress Disorder: Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) describes a response to a life threatening or terrifying event such as a car accident occurring within one month of the stressor. ASD can have an impact on your physical health but also on your mental health. If it is not addressed properly it might turn into Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Panic Attacks later.

“Most Americans will be involved in a traffic accident at some point in their lives, and 25% of the population will be involved in accidents resulting in serious injuries. The National Comorbidity Survey of 1995 found that 9% of survivors of serious motor vehicle accidents developed ASD or PTSD.”


* Flashbacks of car accident several times a day
* Difficulty sleeping/Nightmares
* Problems concentrating
* Anxiety and depression
* Over emotional: easily irritated, sudden sadness,
* Avoiding scene of accident, people, places, and conversations
* Hyppervigilant-constantly over-reacting to traffic with startle response
* Feeling numb or frozen-inability to perform daily tasks
* Daydreaming

Factors influencing development of symptoms:

* Age
* Former Trauma Experiences

Internal and External Resources: Vulnerability, Support of Family and Friends


A combination of physical and psychological treatment such as physical therapy and psychotherapy is suggested.

Source by Susanne Babbel Ph.D.