How to Decrease Your Risk of Injury in an Auto Accident
Car accidents occur quite often in the United States and are one of the leading causes of injury, disability and unnecessary suffering. In fact, each year around three million people are injured in auto accidents. These injuries are a huge cost burden to the U.S. due to medical care bills and reported loss of productivity by those affected.
While no one wishes to be in a car accident, we have accepted it as a part of life. That is why most states require car insurance. Yet, there is a lot that can be done to prevent or minimize injury in the event of a car accident. Some preventative strategies like wearing a seatbelt and not texting and driving are obvious. However, there are more subtle options related to how you set up your car and care for your body prior to a car accident that can also make a difference.
Car Accidents and Spine Alignment
The impact experienced in a car accident is the biggest factor that leads to injury. It leads to issues with neck and back pain, head injuries, and more. Yet, there are also more subtle issues that may not be as obvious at first glance when you are in a car accident. This leads to many people delaying medical care and ending up with delayed symptoms and suffering. The primary cause for these delayed and underlying issues? Spine misalignment.
Any type of impact in your car can put your spine out of alignment. This leads to poor nerve energy flow that affects the body’s ability to both process pain signals and properly heal. Seeking immediate help from an expert in spine alignment can make a big difference. Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is an elite, research-based certification that focuses on addressing these core issues to minimize suffering after an auto injury.
How to Prevent Severe Injuries
The primary factor in the severity of a car injury is related to how high the impact was. However, there are a lot of other secondary factors related to your car set up that can significantly minimize your risk of injury. Keep these in mind the next time you get in your car:
Wear a Seatbelt
Seatbelts are required by law because of the large role they play in car safety- especially with higher impacts. However, it’s important to make sure that the straps of the belt are placed in the correct place to be able to properly absorb the forces your body sustains.
Some quick tips to keep in mind include making sure your seat belt is lying flat with no twists, keeping the lap belt across your pelvis (not the stomach), and the shoulder strap across the mid-chest and shoulder. Overall, the seatbelt should be snug and secure so that it can effectively and safely restrain your movement when needed.
Adjust Your Steering Wheel
Airbags are important for preventing impact with the dashboard of your car. Did you know they are most effective when pointed straight at your chest? Drivers often have their steering wheels pointed up toward their faces, which can result in unnecessary head and neck trauma. The next time you are in your car, check to see what angle your steering wheel is adjusted to. This is of particular importance if you share a car with other drivers.
Adjust Your Seat
The position of your seat can also affect the efficacy of your airbags. Thus, stay as far away as possible from the steering wheel while still being able to comfortably reach the pedals and steering. Your seat should also be adjusted to optimize full spine and head support. Find a position that comfortably supports your back while you’re driving without slouching or having to lean forward. Lastly, that headrest is there for a reason- to protect your neck from whiplash. Ensure that your headrest is lined up with the back of your head.
Keep Good Posture
If you have your seat properly adjusted, keeping good posture should be fairly easy. Yet, good posture is about more than just proper seat support. For example, having your legs crossed, your feet on the dashboard, or leaning to one side can put your entire body out of alignment and lead to spine issues with impact. Get comfortable in good posture with your feet flat on the floor and no leaning to minimize risk of injury.
Chiropractic Care and Auto Accidents
A few small tweaks to your car can make a big difference in your spine health, both before and in the event of a crash. If you’re not sure what good spine alignment looks like for you or suspect you are already dealing with lingering issues from a past car accident, chiropractic care is a great option. Car accidents happen, but suffering should be optional with the right care.
This is exactly what the team of experts at Symmetry Health Center in Alameda and Oakland, CA can help you with. Their expertise and gentle holistic approach can help you address all your needs for those frustrating lingering symptoms that often occur with an auto injury.