Whether you are behind the wheel or riding in a car as a passenger, a sudden impact with another vehicle may break or fracture one or more bones in your body. These kinds of injuries are serious and can lead to possibly life-threatening situations if they are not treated as soon as possible. WebMD describes some of the signs that a person may have a bone fracture. 

Perhaps the most obvious sign that you have suffered a fracture is when the bone actually punctures the skin, also known as an open fracture. Open fractures do not always last. Sometimes the bone retracts into the skin. Nonetheless, open fractures are serious and should receive treatment because infections can penetrate open wounds and can deeply infect the broken bone. 

Other symptoms do not involve the breaking of the skin but many are easily noticeable or produce discomfort. You might feel pain in the area with the broken bone. The pain may only get worse when you try to shift that area of the body or if you apply pressure in that location. You might also notice swelling or bruises on the skin over the fractured bone. 

A bone fracture can also render a limb almost unusable. Even if you do not feel instant pain, a fractured limb might feel weak or it may not perform as you wish if you try to use it. For example, you might try to shift weight onto an injured leg, but that leg does not hold your weight and you fall over. This can add further injuries on top of the fracture. 

A bone fracture often requires emergency medical treatment. If the fracture is serious enough, doctors may need to perform surgery to reset the bone, though doctors may handle less severe fractures without surgery using closed reduction. If a person suffers an open fracture, doctors should clean the wounded area so that the patient does not suffer infection.