Fall 2004 Newsletter
September 17, 2004
AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN
REDUCE RISK OF INJURY IN CAR CRASHES
A news article that recently crossed our desks outlined some simple tips to help avoid physical injury in the common rear-end vehicle collision. They include:
- Brace yourself– Contrary to the popular opinion that a loose and relaxed posture helps prevent injury, bracing oneself before impact is the appropriate response. Contracted muscles better protects bones, cervical discs and nerves from the jolt of the collision.
- Sit straight– Look forward with your body squarely against the seat makes maximum use of the blow-cushioning design of the car seat. Bending forward also places one in nearer vicinity to
the air bag, the explosive engagement of which often causes serious injury itself.
- Keep a distance from the steering wheel– Sitting at least six inches from the steering wheel minimizes serious air-bag caused injury. Those who need pedal extenders to maintain this
distance should obtain them.
- Set headrest– Headrests are designed to prevent neck and head injury, but they are only effective if they are properly set. In fact, a headrest that is adjusted to low can increase
the injury-producing whiplash effect of a collision. The headrest should contact the area just above the ear to function properly.
- Position seat belts– Not using the shoulder restraint section of the belt allows violent upper torso movement and increases the probability of a spinal cord injury. Children should use
child restraint and booster seats until they are large enough to wear a lap/shoulder harness properly.
Statistics indicate that the average person will be involved in a car collision once every ten years. By being prepared and taking the above steps, the chances of walking away from such a collision injury-free are greatly increased.