Being involved in a motor vehicle is one of the biggest causes of injury to people across the world. While prevention would be better than cure, in the event that an accident is unavoidable there are specific procedures you can follow which have the potential of minimizing your injuries.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt properly is, without a doubt, the best measure anyone can take to reduce the risk of injury. Statistics show that when used correctly, the risk of a fatal injury to a front seat passenger is reduced by about 45 percent when wearing a seatbelt properly, while the risk of a moderate to critical injury is reduced by 50 percent. The odds that a seatbelt will help increases to 73 percent for those passengers riding in the rear of vans and sport utility vehicles. These statistics alone (not to mention the relevant laws) are why you should always wear a seatbelt, no matter how short the journey. The length of the trip is almost immaterial, as there is no way of predicting when an accident is going to occur.
Adjust Your Headrest
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that we deal with at Springwater Chiropractic, and nearly all of these cases are a result of a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash is caused when the soft tissues of the neck are hyperextended, which can easily happen when you experience a sudden deceleration.
Although you cannot totally eliminate the risk of whiplash, it is possible to reduce the severity of the problem by adjusting your vehicle’s headrest. To do this, move the top of the headrest so that is it is level with the top of your head. Another important factor is to ensure that the headrest is locked into place once any adjustments have been made.
Correctly Position Your Seat
The seat of a car is designed to ensure maximum comfort and safety for a wide range of people, taking into consideration weight, height, and numerous other factors. It is essential before you start driving that you have the seat set up correctly for you. As the driver, you should adjust your seating position so that you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel, without being so close that you are cramped. This should always be done at the start of any journey, and before you are driving. Trying to adjust the seat when driving is dangerous and should be avoided. If you are involved in a collision while bending or twisting or your seat is not locked in, any injuries you sustain could be a lot more severe.
If you are a front seat passenger in a vehicle, move your seat back as far as possible, as this will maximize the distance between you and the dashboard in the event of a collision. Although airbags are designed to reduce injury, the closer you are to the dashboard at the time of an accident, the higher the risk of injury as the airbags quickly deploy with significant force.
Both the driver and the passenger should try to put the seat in an upright position, without making themselves feel uncomfortable. Although relaxing in a reclined position may seem the more comfortable position, traveling that way raises the risk of injury.
If you read this information too late and are suffering as a result of an automobile accident, please schedule an appointment today. The quicker the cause of your pain is diagnosed, the quicker treatment can be started to get you back on the road to recovery.