If you get into a car accident, you’re likely going to experience a rush of adrenaline. This is similar to if you get involved in a fight or any other type of physical incident. It’s part of your fight-or-flight response as your body tries to address the threat.
Does it mask pain?
Part of this response can make it so that you do not feel any pain or so that, at the very least, the pain is reduced. Some people say that it masks the pain so that you don’t feel it.
Scientific experts are quick to point out that this isn’t technically true. It does not mask the pain, they note. That pain still does exist.
Instead, the adrenaline shifts your concentration. On your own, you’d think of nothing else. With adrenaline flowing, your concentration moves to a more survival-based mindset. You feel like the pain is gone.
This is your body’s way of allowing you to work hard to survive. If you were overwhelmed by pain, you couldn’t escape the threat. If that pain is lessened for a time, you can escape and find safety. Then the pain will come rushing back as the adrenaline fades.
One of the potential problems with this response is that, while it may have worked well for predator attacks as humans evolved, it can prevent modern humans from knowing how badly they’re injured. You may think that you are fine after a car accident and neglect to go to the hospital when you’re actually badly hurt. You must slow down, identify your injuries, get treatment and then look into your legal options to seek compensation.