The Importance of Seatbelts in Auto Accidents
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Houston Chiropractor Comments: 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% 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.
In general, the available evidence available is clear – seatbelts save lives! Regarding backseat passengers, wearing a seatbelt is 44% 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 seatbelts is 73% 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. In states where rear seatbelts are required, 85% of adult backseat passengers complied versus states not mandating rear seat seatbelt use where only 66% of the passengers complied. The NHTSA has launched a campaign, “Click It or Ticket” and has provided a guide to seatbelt safety promoting the proper use of the seatbelt and have provided the following safety seatbelts 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 seatbelts cause injuries at low speeds and therefore, it is better to not wear the seatbelt when simply traveling in your neighborhood. There is overwhelming evidence in almost all circumstances, seatbelts 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 healthcare 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.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!