5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Injury in the Event of a Car Accident
Car accidents happen often. In fact, we’ve accepted them as a part of life. If you haven’t already been in some kind of fender bender, odds are that at some point you will find yourself in one. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the U.S. Ultimately, this can lead to disability and unnecessary suffering. We take out car insurance policies that keep us covered when the inevitable occurs. Just like car insurance, there are some safeguards that you can practice everyday when you get in your car to keep your body as safe as possible. This can help prevent or minimize the severity of an injury in an auto accident. While some car related injuries are severe and obvious, minor accidents and injuries can sometimes take days, weeks, or even months to surface. Then, they wreak havoc on your body and can result in pain, body dysfunction and loss of your normal quality of life. The most common complaints following injury include debilitating neck pain, headaches, and low back pain. You might have health insurance. Yet, as with any injury, prevention is always best. Since car accidents happen, here are some tips for minimizing the impact an accident could potentially have on your body.
Wear a Seatbelt
This one should be pretty obvious. Seat belts have been shown to significantly reduce risk of injury, especially in high impact accidents. Yet, even in smaller accidents an improperly worn seat belt can be detrimental to your health. They are designed to be worn in a way that optimally absorbs impact without damage to the body. Follow these quick tips:
- Make sure there are no twists or loops that will impair function in the event of a crash
- The lap belt should be as low as possible across the strong lower pelvic bones
- The shoulder strap should be across the mid-chest and shoulder
- The entire seat belt is snug and secure
Adjusting Your Seat
Airbags are important, but they can also do more harm than good if you’re too close to them when they are activated. Always keep yourself as far away as possible from the steering wheel while still being able safely reach it and the pedals. Additionally, utilizing your seat for full spine support is important for minimizing injury in the event of an accident. Adjust your seat so that it fully supports your spine (in an upright, non-slouched position) and you can comfortably rest against it while driving. Lastly, don’t forget to get that headrest adjusted to the center of your head to prevent whiplash injury.
Your Steering Wheel
Airbags are most effective when they’re pointed at your chest. A common mistake drivers make is having the steering wheel pointed at an angle toward their face. With some simple adjustments, this can be avoided. Always make sure your steering wheel is in the right place, especially if you share a car with other drivers and it needs to be frequently adjusted to your size.
Pay Attention to Your Posture
All of the great safety bells and whistles that come with a car are only useful when you’re sitting in good posture. This means both feet are flat on the floor, the seat is properly adjusted (as discussed above), and the spine in good overall alignment. This means no leaning to one side, hunching over, having the legs crossed, or having one leg up on the dashboard. Good posture could be as important as life or death or avoiding a lifelong disability.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Outside of your car adjustments and ergonomics, one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of injury from a car accident is focus on the road. This might seem obvious but the number of people that admit to texting and driving these days is astounding and scary. Put the phone down, grab a wireless headset if you need to make a call, and focus on arriving safely at your destination.
Auto Accidents and Chiropractic Care
Your safety should always be a top concern when driving. It’s easy to get complacent and forget to focus on the small things. Yet, with just a few tweaks to your car you can rest easy knowing you did everything you could in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and they often result in injury. Often, small misalignments in the spine can go undetected and lead to some pretty big symptoms down the road. To stay on top of this, consider going to a Chiropractic expert like the entire dedicated team at North Alabama Spine and Rehab. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can take care of all your auto accident needs.