Mar 24 2015
Every year in the United States there are over 6,000,000 auto accidents. In fact, within any 5-year period, 25 percent of all drivers will be involved in a crash. Some of them are minor fender benders but too many are serious and result in injuries to the drivers and passengers. If you or anyone you know has been in an auto accident, you should understand that chiropractic care is the first and best treatment for certain common injuries. Let’s take a look at the data about car crashes and injuries, and then delve into how a chiropractor can help you.
The data on crashes:
In 2013, there were an estimated 2.31 million people injured in motor vehicle crashes. The good news is that number is down 2.1% from 2012.
That means someone is injured in a car crash every 14 seconds in the U.S.
Incredibly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 10 million crashes go unreported every year!
Sadly, those crashes often result in fatalities. About 40,000 people lose their lives in car accidents every year.
In the United States, that’s the leading cause of death for people aged 2 to 34. Someone passes away in a car accident every 30 minutes.
55 percent of those killed in car accidents weren’t wearing seat belts.
Interestingly enough, about 95 percent of all injuries caused by traffic accidents are suffered by passengers, not drivers. That accounts for up to 2.6 million injured passengers.
Of course injuries and fatalities are the biggest toll of motor vehicle accidents, but they also come with a significant price tag.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that U.S. motor vehicle crashes cost almost $1 trillion in loss of productivity and loss of life.
And we all pay more in the form of increased insurance premiums and payouts. The average auto liability claim for property damage is now $3,231 and the average auto liability claim for bodily injury is $15,443.
Private insurers pay about 50 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs. Individual crash victims pay about 26 percent, while third parties such as uninvolved motorists delayed in traffic, charities and health care providers pay about 14 percent. Federal revenues pay for about 6 percent and states and municipalities contribute 3 percent.
In total, nearly 75 percent of all motor vehicle accident costs are paid by those who were not directly involved in the incident.
So what are the main causes of all of these motor vehicle crashes? There are three overriding contributing factors. They are: speeding, distracted driving, alcohol, and driving while drowsy.
Multiple studies reveal that speeding is the main contributing factor in traffic accidents, and a factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes.
As we might predict, young men are the worst offenders when it comes to speeding and car accidents. 37 percent of both 15- to 20-year-old and 21-to 24-year old male drivers who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash.
41 percent of drivers admit they’ve fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once in their lives, and 11 percent say it happened within the last year.
One in six fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver.
Distracted driving is also a huge pandemic in this country, especially with the advent of smart phones.
The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving accounts for 10 percent of all roadway fatalities, 18 percent of all injuries, and 16 percent of all accidents
36 percent of drivers read social media networks while driving.
43 percent of drivers have checked email on their phones while behind the wheel. Of course younger drivers account for most of these incidences.
As we all know, alcohol and operating a motor vehicle do not mix. In fact, drinking and driving accounts for 31 percent of all roadway fatalities, about one death every 51 minutes.
Every year, about 1.5 million motorists are arrested for drinking and driving. But that’s only 1 percent of the estimated 112 million incidents of drinking and driving annually, as self-reported in comprehensive surveys.
Injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are extremely commonplace, yet often go undiagnosed or improperly treated.
The top injured areas from accidents are:
The leading injuries from auto accidents are whiplash, herniated discs, and osteoarthritis, all of which chiropractors specialize in treating. Of course whiplash is the condition when your neck is forcibly “whipped” front to back or side to side upon impact, past your normal range of motion. Whiplash most commonly affects the muscles and tissues in the back and neck area, resulting in stiffness and pain, and often results in migraine headaches as well. However, the scary thing about whiplash, or any injury suffered in an auto accident, is that it may not manifest itself immediately. You may not feel it for a day, a week, or even months after getting in a car crash.
The pain you may feel to your back, neck, or other areas after a car crash are the sign that your spine has suffered damage. By adjusting and re-aligning your spine, chiropractors can relieve pressure from the nerves in the back, neck, and head, allowing your body to heal itself properly.
Too often, PHDs just prescribe strong painkillers to mask the pain, but they don’t fix the problem and allow you to heal. In fact, they may make it worse, and can be highly addictive and disrupt your daily functions.
Instead, chiropractors specialize in the field of human biometrics, so we can identity the true root causes of injuries that other doctors may overlook. We care for auto accident injuries by focusing on medication-free pain control and spinal realignment. That could include chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, traction and other pain relief techniques.
Please be safe out there on the roads and always give us a call if you’ve been injured in an auto accident, whether you are feeling immediate symptoms or not.