Car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence, especially in today’s distraction-filled world. In fact, more than 90 people die in car accidents every day, and there are six million accidents on average in the U.S. annually. Regardless of how minor or serious an accident is, it can be stressful to know what to do in the moments, days, and weeks following the incident. It is not uncommon to panic in these situations, which can lead to making haste decisions and failing to do everything the ‘right way.’ If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you are likely wondering what you should do in the immediate aftermath and what kind of care is most effective, should you sustain an injury.
Today we are going to answer those very questions – and more! It is our goal to help you not only understand what happens after an accident, but how chiropractic care can help you make a full recovery from your injuries. Unfortunately, car accidents are the number one cause of death among teen drivers, which can be attributed to inexperience, distracted driving, and speed. With these statistics in mind, let’s get to some of the most common questions about accidents and what you can do to get better.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Car Accidents?
Injuries that occur from car accidents can be quite unique and will depend on numerous factors, including where you were in the car, how the vehicle was hit, if you were wearing your seatbelt, and what type of vehicles were involved. All of these things will contribute to how your body reacts to a collision and what injuries you sustain as a result. While many accidents lead to disabling, life-threatening injuries, others are minor in nature. Regardless of how serious or minimal your injuries are, it is imperative you seek medical attention and pay close attention to your body and mind in the days and weeks following the accident. This is because not all injuries show up right away. In fact, many injuries do not carry any symptoms at all, until it’s too late. Some of the most common injuries in car accidents include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back and neck pain
- Broken bones
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Chest injuries
- Injuries to the extremities
- Emotional injuries
How Often Does the Average Person Get in a Car Accident?
According to reports from insurance companies across the U.S., the average person will be involved in an about four car accidents during their lifetime. Even though the chances of one of these accidents being fatal are low, they often result in serious injuries that require medical attention. Damage to your vehicle or other property damage is also likely with car accidents, whether minor or serious.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents?
Many of the causes of car accidents are obvious, but others may come as a surprise. Whether you are a new teen driver or someone who has been driving for years, it is of the utmost importance you take a proactive approach to driving and do everything you can to keep yourself and others safe while out on the road. The most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Inclement weather conditions
- Running red lights
- Driving at night
- Design or manufacturing defects
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Improper turns
- Driving the wrong way
- Inexperienced teen drivers
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Tire blowouts
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident?
Immediately following a car accident, you should move the vehicle to a safe place (if possible), call the police, and wait until help arrives. Be sure and check yourself and others for injuries and seek medical attention right away, if necessary. One of the biggest mistakes people make following an accident is to ignore their symptoms and not get help. Many car accident injuries do not show up right away and carry hardly noticeable symptoms. However, these can be some of the most damaging injuries. We encourage you to come into our accident injury clinic to be evaluated by our Dallas chiropractor if you’ve been in a car accident. Your health should be your number one priority because many internal injuries and sore muscles can lead to far more serious problems, should you fail to seek medical attention.
In addition to the above, you should also gather information from everyone involved in the accident, including other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Get their names and contact information, license plate numbers, make and model of vehicles, insurance information, names and contact information of any eyewitnesses, and the accident/police report number. Once you’ve documented the accident and the police have given their report, be sure and contact your insurance company and make a claim. You may want to call your insurance provider while you are still at the scene of the accident, as there may be specific information they need in order for your claim to be processed.
Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?
Yes! Always. We cannot reiterate how important it is for you to seek medical attention after an accident, even if it seems minor in nature. It is also important that you overcome the natural tendency to avoid going to the doctor because of the hassle. Do not wait to make an appointment with your chiropractor, as the more time that passes, the more serious your injuries could become.
Is Chiropractic Effective?
Chiropractors are often recommended for car accident victims because they specialize in treating misalignments of the spine, soft tissue injuries, and nerve damage, all of which can happen as a result of a car accident. Some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents are back and neck injuries, all of which chiropractic adjustments can help improve. We cannot reiterate how important it is to understand that not all car accident injuries are obvious. Whiplash, for example, is not always apparent right after a Dallas car accident. It could take hours or even days for you to feel the symptoms. By making a point to see a chiropractor right away, your chances of catching the injury early on increase exponentially. Ignoring a potential injury could lead to greater problems and long-term pain, something no one wants to face.
How Often Should You Go to the Chiropractor?
The number of visits to the chiropractor you will need will depend on numerous factors, including the types of injuries you sustained and your overall health. Your discs, joints, muscles, and tissues are all susceptible to injury following a car accident. So, when multiple parts of the body are injured, you will likely need multiple treatments. The exact number of treatments you need and how often you will need to see your chiropractor will depend on the individual and how severe your injuries are.
That being said, injuries are usually graded by chiropractors on a scale of one to five, five being the most severe. For patients with minor injuries, daily treatments may be necessary for the first week after your accident, and then you may be able to go down to three times a week, then two times a week, and finally one time a week. Typically, treatment for minor injuries will last about 11 weeks.
For moderate injuries, patients may need around 33 treatments, and patients with severe injuries often require upwards of 80 treatments. Again, the exact number of treatments required for your injuries will vary depending on the person and other factors surrounding the accident.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
Chiropractic care has been around for a very long time, helping people recover from a wide range of injuries and ailments. When it comes to injuries from car accidents, chiropractic adjustments are among the safest and most effective options out there. In many cases, patients will experience immediate relief from back and neck pain following a car accident. This is because common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, can cause the vertebrae to become misaligned, leading to discomfort and pain. Spinal manipulations and adjustments work to reposition the vertebrae, taking the pressure off the nerves. Chiropractors are trained professionals who undergo years of schooling in order to perform these therapies and help people find relief. This is one of the safest forms of treatment out there when it comes to finding relief from car accident injuries.
Does Chiropractic Hurt?
The short answer is no, chiropractic adjustments do not typically hurt. When done using the correct techniques, they very rarely hurt and almost always provide immediate relief. Patients may experience a warm, tingling sensation throughout their body following a chiropractic adjustment, but this is completely normal.
What Are the Benefits of Going to the Chiropractor?
If you were involved in a car accident, whether minor or serious, one of your best chances of making a full recovery from your injuries is seeing a chiropractic specialist. Failing to see a chiropractor can result in long-term, chronic conditions that can take months or even years to heal, not to mention thousands of dollars. Many car accident victims have found that chiropractic care is the best solution to finding relief. One of the top benefits of this type of care is that it does not involve taking prescription drugs or surgery. It is a very safe and effective option that has helped countless car accident victims make a full recovery. Some of the benefits of going to the chiropractor after a car accident include:
- Addresses injuries that aren’t always obvious – As mentioned, whiplash and other injuries don’t always show up right away. Our chiropractors are trained to detect injuries that are not obvious to the naked eye. We encourage you not to wait to seek treatment until after you start to experience pain, as this could mean the injury has worsened.
- Reduces inflammation – Some of the most common injuries following a car accident are minor tears and strains in the muscles, which can lead to inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, these injuries do not show up in X-rays, making it difficult for many medical professionals to pinpoint what exactly is going on. A chiropractor will be able to perform spinal manipulations that will encourage the body to let go of any inflammation caused by these tears.
- It is a non-invasive, safe treatment – Chiropractic care is a safe alternative to many other forms of treatment and is ideal for those with injuries that do not require surgery.
- Reduces widespread pain – It is no secret that the U.S. has a serious pain medication problem, which is why many people are seeking alternative forms of treatment to find relief. While pain medications can provide immediate relief, they are not a long-term answer and do not address the actual problem. Instead of masking the problem with drugs, chiropractic care addresses the source of the injury and works to heal it, rather than simply masking the pain.
- Restores range of motion – If you are one of the millions of people who sustain a neck or back injury in a car accident, the repercussions can wreak havoc on your life. One of the first things affected by these types of injuries is range of motion. This is because your blood and nutrients are unable to make their way to the areas they need due to inflammation, which slows the healing process. Following a chiropractic adjustment, your range of motion will increase and the body will be able to start to heal itself naturally.
Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming for even the most experienced driver. By understanding what some of the most common car accident injuries are, what causes accidents, and what you should do in the immediate aftermath, you will be much better prepared. Furthermore, a chiropractor can provide you with relief and will address injuries you may not even realize you have. It is estimated that more than a quarter of all car accident victims sustain non-fatal injuries, and many of these injuries are left untreated.
People often make the mistake of avoiding medical care, simply assuming they are ‘fine’. Even if you do not notice any symptoms right away, make an appointment with a Dallas chiropractor to ensure you are not suffering from any potentially dangerous injuries. Internal injuries and whiplash are among the most common following car accidents, and they are also often undetected. If you have been involved in a car accident in Dallas, please contact Premier Injury Clinics of DFW today. Your health is our first priority and we will do everything we can to make sure you receive the care and attention you need.