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Driving and Car Safety Tips
Whether you commute to work each day in your car or are getting ready to head out on a family road trip, following defensive driving practices can help reduce your risk for a car accident. Defensive driving is a driving strategy designed to help motorists identify and respond to predictable driving hazards. At Century Center Chiropractic, our chiropractor in Atlanta Dr. Jared Simon sees every day the difference that smart, defensive driving can make for reducing injury severity and preventing serious accidents. This information will help you be a better defensive driver and reduce your risk for serious car accident injuries, like whiplash and back pain.
While it’s never possible to prevent all accidents, practicing defensive driving helps you anticipate potentially dangerous driving situations and respond accordingly before a problem occurs. For example, the combination of speed, place of impact, and the size of vehicle impact will determine the severity of a crash. Understanding the dynamics of a crash can help you learn how to reduce your risk for a serious accident. When road conditions are icy, rainy or otherwise dangerous, most of us know we need to slow down. Driving at a reduced speed can greatly reduce the likelihood for a serious accident should you skid on ice or another vehicle skids and hits your car.
Fender benders are on the rise these days thanks to an increase in distracted driving due to cell phones. Hands-free is the way to go! Pausing at a red light to check a text message is risky and unsafe. Keep in mind that even a seemingly “minor” fender bender at 5 mph can cause serious damage to the musculoskeletal system, including chronic neck pain from whiplash injuries. Our Atlanta chiropractor Dr. Simon treats hundreds of patients each year for chronic and acute neck pain that is the result of a whiplash injury. Some of this pain could be avoided simply by putting down the phone.
How you sit in your car makes a difference for how a potential crash will affect your body. For example, if you sit too close to the steering wheel, you could sustain major damage to the muscles, bones and ligaments in your knees, not to mention your ribs and internal organs. The force of the airbag deploying could cause additional injuries. Be sure you are seated at an appropriate distance from the steering wheel were you can still comfortably drive but are not too close.
Finally, watch out for lazy driving habits! The majority of accidents happen close to home, but it’s also when we are close to home that we can get ‘lazy’ about safe driving practices. For example, always check when changing lanes. This includes checking the rearview mirror, the side mirrors and looking over your shoulder to avoid colliding with a motorist in your blind spot. Always wear your seatbelt, even in your driving or work parking lot.
For more information on chiropractic care for auto injuries, call Dr. Simon today at (404) 634-1669.