Whiplash is a very common problem afflicting millions of people each year. In fact, there are more than 6 million car accidents each year in the United States alone. Death associated with car accidents occurs every 12 minutes and each year, motor vehicle collisions (MVC) kill 40,000 people. For people aged between 2 and 34 years old, MVCs are the leading cause of death. Another sobering statistic is somebody is injured in a car crash every 14 seconds and about 2 million people receive permanent injuries in car crashes each year. Over a five-year period, over 25 percent of all drivers were involved in a motor vehicle collision.
The cost of car accidents averages $1000 for each American per year resulting in a $164.2 billion total cost each year in the United States. Approximately 250,000 children are injured and car crashes, meaning approximately 700 kids are injured daily. Car crashes are the leading cause of acquired disability. Hopefully, these rather startling statistics have gotten your attention. Last month, we discussed various effective ways of reducing the likelihood of even being in a motor vehicle collision (MVC). As an appropriate follow-up, this discussion will cover seatbelts and their role in injury prevention and life-saving capabilities.
In general, the available evidence available is clear – seat belts save lives! Regarding backseat passengers, wearing a seatbelt is 44 percent more effective at preventing death than riding unrestrained. Similarly, for those positioned in the rear of a van or sport utility vehicle, the use of rear seat belts is 73 percent better at preventing a fatal outcome during a car crash. In more than one half of all fatal car accidents, the victims are not properly restrained. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2008 reported the use of seat belts increased one percent over 2007 with 83 percent of drivers wearing their seat belts. The use of seat belts increased to 90 percent on highways versus 80 percent on surface streets (in town). In states where rear seat belts are required, 85 percent of adult backseat passengers complied versus states not mandating rear seat seat belt use where only 66% of the passengers complied. The NHTSA has launched a campaign, “Click It or Ticket” and has provided a guide to seat belt safety promoting the proper use of the seat belt and have provided the following safety seat belts tips:
Make sure your seat belt fits snugly. Seat belts worn too loosely can cause broken ribs or injuries to your abdomen.
Place the lap belt low on your hipbones and below your belly. Never put the lap belt across your belly.
Place the shoulder belt across the center of the chest between the breasts.
Never slip the upper part of the belt off your shoulder. Seat belts that are worn too high can cause broken ribs or injuries to your belly.
The most effective safety protection available today for passenger vehicle occupants is lap/shoulder seat belts combined with air bags.
There is a common myth that seat belts cause injuries at low speeds and therefore, it is better to not wear the seat belt when simply traveling in town. There is overwhelming evidence in almost all circumstances, seat belts save lives, even at low speed collisions. Because the forces that occur in low-speed crashes are transferred to the contents due to the lack of crushing metal and less vehicle damage, the occupants of a car struck at a low speed can be thrown about significantly… striking the windshield, side window and other contents inside the car. We realize that you have a choice in where you choose for your health care services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, chiropractic care is a logical first choice and we would be honored to offer our services to you.
You may be a candidate for our whiplash treatment program. For a free, no obligation consultation, call 732-984-9597