Car crash injuries are one of the most common kinds of injuries that chiropractors see and treat. All too often, patients come in with whiplash and injuries of the neck and back after being involved in a serious car accident.
There are various safe driving habits you can start incorporating into your driving behavior not only to reduce the chance of getting in a crash but also to reduce the chance of sustaining a serious injury in the case of an accident.
To protect yourself, your passengers, and others on the road from car accident injuries, start practicing these six driving safety habits:
1. Always Wear Your Seatbelt (The Right Way)
This should be a given, yet some people still choose not to protect themselves by not wearing their seatbelts.
No matter where you are or where you’re sitting in the car, it’s the law to wear your seatbelt. They save lives in high-speed crashes and are one of the best ways to avoid a severe car crash injury.
Ensure you’re wearing your seatbelt correctly by checking to see that it is snug across your hips and the upper portion crosses over your chest, avoiding the neck.
2. Use Your Headrest to Your Advantage
Your headrest isn’t just there for comfort – it’s there to protect your head and neck in the case of a serious accident. Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, and you can prevent it by keeping your headrest in its proper position no more than an inch or two behind your head.
You want to minimize the space between your head and the headrest, called the backset, as this is the distance your head will move in the case of a collision. The smaller the distance, the lower the chance of sustaining a hyperextension injury.
3. Adjust Your Seating Position
Your seat should be as far as you can get from the airbags while still being close enough to reach the steering wheel and pedals. While you might think being closer to the airbag would be
better, airbag injuries are a serious concern, and distancing yourself from them can protect you from their forceful deployment.
4. Stay the Speed Limit
As tempting as it can be to speed up, especially after a long day or on your way to an important event, you must stay within the speed limit. These numbers are chosen based on several factors, and going beyond them can increase the odds of a more serious injury in the case of an accident.
It also helps you keep control of your car and respond well to those around you.
5. Don’t Overcorrect – Remain in Control
If things start happening and it looks like you’re headed for a car accident, try to remain in control of the car and don’t overcorrect, which can ultimately cause more damage. Staying in control might mean several things – it could mean accelerating rather than braking, aiming the car toward the object that will do the least amount of damage, or simply keeping the wheel straight over slippery roads.
6. Always Drive Sober
This should also be a given, but it’s worth the reminder. Driving drunk puts you and everyone in your car at risk, not to mention everyone on the road who is driving responsibly. If you’re drinking, always have a designated driver or use a rideshare service for a safe ride home. There’s no good reason to drink and drive.
Avoiding Accidents, Avoiding Injuries
Of course, the best way to avoid a car accident injury is to avoid the car accident altogether. Practicing defensive driving, staying aware of what’s on the road, and only driving when you are capable and sober are the best ways to avoid accidents. Following the tips listed here can provide extra help when trying to avoid car accident injuries if you are involved in a car accident.
If you’re recovering from a car accident injury, it’s imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible after your wreck. Contact the car accident chiropractors at Sea Change Wellness in St. Petersburg, FL, to schedule an appointment at your convenience.