As many car accidents that occur on a daily basis, it’s interesting to note that our roads and highways have actually become much safer over the past 20 years. Motorists are much less likely to be injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident than they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yet, despite this fact, there are still many people unfortunate enough to be involved in one of these events.
Car Accident Facts:
- Americans traveled 2.39 trillion miles in 1995 and 3.1 trillion miles in 2015. That’s a 30% increase.
- During the same 1995-2015 period, the number of police-reported accidents on U.S. roads actually decreased by 5%, dropping from 6,613,000 to 6,296,000. So even though we’re traveling more miles, we’re having fewer accidents.
- The number of motor vehicle occupants killed in accidents during 1995 was 41,795. That number declined by nearly 20% to 35,092 in 2015. The fatality rate per 100M miles traveled dropped from 1.7 to 1.12 persons. That means that when we do have an accident, it’s become less likely that someone traveling in the vehicle will be killed.
- The statistics show an even more positive trend with respect to injuries. The number of occupants injured in accidents fell 32% from 3,232,000 in 1995 to 2,443,000 in 2015. The injury rate per 100M miles travelled declined from 90 persons to 78. Simply put, our motor vehicle accidents seem to be injuring fewer drivers and passengers when they do occur.
This trend towards safer roads is most likely the product of a combination of factors. It could be the way we’re driving that’s producing fewer, less serious crashes. It could be the way our roads are designed, maintained or policed. It could also be the active and passive safety features now included in many of our vehicles. But whatever the reasons, we can all agree that this is really good news for our nation’s travelers.
But What if I’m One of the Two Million Unlucky Ones this Year?
As encouraging as this trend is, it obviously means very little to you if you or someone you care about is actually injured in a car accident. Even in cases where drivers and passengers walk away from a wreck believing they’re “uninjured”, accidents can have profound, long-lasting health consequences for those involved. We often find that the minor “fender-benders” are among some of the worst when it comes to whiplash injuries. It’s not uncommon for some types of symptoms to appear only gradually days or weeks after the event itself, delaying effective diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms may also come and go intermittently, making it more difficult to associate them with the accident.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to safeguard your health and improve your chances of a more rapid, complete recovery following an auto accident. Clinical studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care can shorten recovery time and decrease the amount of permanent physical damage sustained in a collision.
Take Care of First Things First.
Always address any life-threatening injuries first. If you experience (or have reason to suspect) significant bleeding or bruising, broken bones, internal pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or shock, you should seek immediate help from healthcare professionals who specialize in treating trauma injuries.
Recognize Signs that You May Be at Increased Risk of Developing Chronic Problems.
- A prior history of back, neck or shoulder problems (including previous injury).
- Distinct numbness, tingling or pain immediately following an accident.
- Increased muscle tension or reduced range of motion after the crash.
- You were involved in a rear-end collision.
- Your head was turned at the moment of impact.
- You have symptoms that don’t resolve or that become generalized.
Visit your Chiropractor as Soon as Possible After an Accident.
Do this even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt very badly. Again, many times it is the small accidents that can have the most harmful effect and most people think that if the car wasn’t damaged that much then they are probably ok. Research has shown that early intervention in the form of chiropractic care can make a big difference in longer-term function after a car accident.
Benefits of chiropractic care
Broken bones, cuts, and bruises are very easy to notice, but conditions such as ligament injuries/whiplash are not always as obvious, especially immediately following an accident. After such an event, confusion can set it and adrenaline levels will spike which might disguise symptoms and pain.
Inflammation and the aches and pains that go with it tend to reveal themselves when the body calms down. Sometimes this takes a day or two or even up to a week, especially for whiplash injuries. It’s not unusual for people to notice symptoms such as dizziness, neck pain, headaches, blurred vision, and stiff neck until after a few days after an accident.
Chiropractic care is uniquely designed to be able to detect these types of injuries and help your body heal more efficiently and with better function. Seeing a chiropractor immediately after an accident can help you avoid weeks of pain and start the recovery process right away.
Avoid Needless Medication
Chiropractic care is a safe natural solution for pain relief. Although pain medication is obviously sometimes necessary, too many people are prone to reaching for pills whenever they feel the slightest pain. Pain medication, along with all of the other side effects, can also mask injuries, which delays healing.
Chiropractic care offers effective pain management without the need for pain medication. Chiropractic adjustments, along with certain therapies and exercises can reduce pain, increase blood flow, strengthen your muscles and most importantly help your body heal faster.
Avoid Future Chronic Conditions
Even minor injuries sustained in an accident can become serious problems if left untreated. Whiplash injuries, for example, can linger for years leading to chronic conditions if you don’t seek treatment, and this can lead to emotional distress to match the physical pain.
Ignoring pain associated with a car accident can also lead to long-term damage that has a future effect. If you suffer a minor injury to a joint, bone or ligament, you can cause substantial damage in another accident such as a trip and fall incident because your body is already in a weakened state.
An auto accident can affect your health and your lifestyle for years if you don’t receive the proper treatment. So if you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, seek immediate chiropractic care to improve your chances of a full and speedy recovery.