For many of us, summer means it’s time to hit the road and head off on vacation. Unfortunately, more cars on the road means more accidents, and we know that even the smallest fender bender can leave drivers – and passengers – in bad shape; dealing with whiplash, spinal pain, reduced range of motion, nagging neck pain and more. These kinds of auto accident injuries can be stubborn healers too, sometimes taking longer than broken bones to heal.
While we’re more than qualified and prepared to treat auto accident injuries with an effective course of chiropractic treatment we wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone, and so with that in mind here’s some commonsense tips for staying safe – and healthy – out on the road this summer.
Watch Your Distance
Many people who end up with whiplash injuries do so because they were hit from behind. And in bumper to bumper holiday traffic, when everyone is in a rush but going nowhere fast, the number of rear end collisions increases significantly, often because a driver is simply to close to the vehicle in front in the first place.
Think back to your driver’s test. Do you remember what the recommended following distances are when driving on a highway? If it’s been a while since you got your license possibly not, so here’s a refresher. In good weather and ideal traffic conditions, leave two seconds between you and the car in front of you. For night driving, heavy traffic or driving in poor weather such as light rain, leave four. And in very bad weather conditions like fog or ice you should leave 6 seconds between you and the car you are following.
Be Vigilant When Stopping .. And When Stopped
A considerable percentage of rear end collisions occur when the vehicle that is hit is either pulling into a stop or is stopped altogether. There are times when it is the fault of the vehicle in front for stopping to abruptly and others when the driver in the rear is simply not paying enough attention to the road.
While you can’t drive for others, you can be more vigilant about what you do. Keep your eye on your rear view mirror when stopping to make sure that the vehicle behind is doing so too and even when stopped in a traffic jam be aware of what’s going on behind you, in case some impatient soul decides to make a silly sudden move.
Stay Out of the Middle Lane When Possible
Some people refer, rather gruesomely, to a highway’s middle lane as the ‘suicide lane’ and statistically it is indeed where the greatest number of accidents occur. This is because vehicles can enter from either side, and some are not always particularly careful when doing so, especially when traffic is heavier and they are trying to ‘beat the rush.’ This leaves the car in the middle as something of a sitting duck. Whenever possible avoid staying in the middle lane for too long and if you are, remain extra watchful for other drivers.
Don’t Ignore ‘Little” Auto Accident Injuries
Often when people are involved in a minor fender bender they ignore any injuries they might had suffered because a) they pretty much feel OK apart from being shaken up and 2) they are more concerned about damage to their vehicle. However, if you do find yourself in a collision take the time to get properly checked out to ensure that you really are OK.
We are taking new patients and offering free consultations, and that way we find out if you are someone we can help before going any further. Call us today for a free consultation at (913)-953-5959 or CLICK HERE for more information about our Overland Park chiropractic office.