Whiplash: Tips for reducing injury during accident

Whiplash is a condition of neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons being sprained and strained usually during the course of a motor vehicle accident. Most people would be amazed to find out that even a minor fender bender at less than 10 mph can cause weeks of pain and limited range of motion.

Tips for reducing injury from whiplash:
This information comes from many whiplash and car accident seminars I have attended over the years all based on research.

1) You will be less injured in a rearend collision if your head is touching or close to the headrest. It is the amount that your head moves that injures you more than the actual impact force.

2) Sitting too close to the steering wheel is more likely to result in rib/chest bruises when hitting the steering wheel with your body, wrist and arm injuries, and facial lacerations if the airbag deploys.

3) If you tend to lean a little towards the door of your car or the center of your car and are hit in that position, you will have more lower back injuries than if you are sitting square facing forward.

4) As a passenger, NEVER put your foot up on the dashboard. Whether the passenger side airbag deploys or not, you are at risk of dislocating or breaking your hip and even having your knee thrust into your face if hit from the front.

5) If you are aware of an impending rear end collision, press hard on your brake pedal (to minimize movement of your body and head), push your head gently back into the headrest, sit straight forward without turning your head, and take your arms off the steering wheel so that your arms don't get bruised.

6) Children can be injured too. If you have a child in a carseat and are involved in an accident, you should discard that carseat and purchase a new one even if it looks ok to you. Unseen lines of stress in the carseat plastic from the accident can weaken the plastic rendering the carseat less effective in resisting a future impact.

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