woman putting on seat belt
woman putting on seat belt

Common Seat Belt Injuries: Why Do They Happen and How Are They Treated?

Doctor David Jenkins Orlando Chiro

Written by: Dr. David Jenkins

Published: March 29th, 2022

When you get behind the wheel of a car, you probably don't expect an accident to happen, but it's important to remain aware that a motor vehicle collision can happen at any time, and you always need to put safety at the top of your priority list. This means that you should always wear your seat belt.

woman putting on her seat belt

Unfortunately, there are some injuries that can actually be caused by a seat belt. Even though a seat belt might save your life, it may not prevent all of your injuries. What are a few examples of injuries caused by seat belts, and what should you do if you have suffered a seat belt injury?

How Does a Seat Belt Work?

The entire purpose of a seat belt is to restrain you in the event of a motor vehicle accident. If you collide with another vehicle, your car is going to come to a sudden stop, while you will still be moving forward at a very high speed, unless your seat belt restrains you. Therefore, the purpose of the seatbelt is to prevent you from colliding with the inside of your own vehicle, which can lead to significant injuries.

For example, if you are driving a car, and you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your body will still be moving forward unless you are restrained by the seat belt. This means that you could collide with the steering wheel at very high speeds, leading to rib fractures. The combination of your seat belt and airbag will prevent you from striking the inside of the car.

Typically, your seat belt is a combination of a lap belt and a shoulder belt. The lap belt restrains your lower body while the shoulder belt restrains your chest and torso. If you are sitting in the middle seat in the rear of the car, you might only have a lap belt, which unfortunately, is less safe, and can lead to major injuries.

What Injuries Might Be Caused By Seat Belts?

There are several significant injuries that can be caused by your seat belt. One of the most serious injuries is an abdominal injury that takes place if you are only wearing a lap belt and not a shoulder belt. The lap belt will restrain your abdomen, but you won't have a shoulder belt, so your chest will fly forward. This can cause serious damage to your abdomen because of the separation forces between your chest, flying forward, and your abdomen, which is restrained.

There are other injuries that can be caused by a seat belt as well. These include:

  • You may end up with bruised ribs
  • You could suffer lacerations and abrasions of the chest and sternum
  • You might notice stinging or burning shoulder pain
  • You could have a bulging or herniated disc
  • You may have a pinched nerve

These are just a few of the many injuries that can be caused by seat belts. Even though these injuries can be serious, they might be made worse if you do not wear your seat belt properly.

For example, if there is a child who is not tall enough to reach the shoulder restraint, then he or she needs to be in a booster seat. That way, they can wear the shoulder harness. Your child does not have to worry about ducking underneath the shoulder belt because they are too short, which would make the situation worse.

Furthermore, if the seat belt is going across your neck instead of your shoulder, this could expose you to a serious neck injury. You could end up with a serious abrasion, laceration, or even a ligament sprain. For this reason, make sure the seat belt is going across your shoulder and not your neck.

If you have suffered any of these injuries, you need to work with a healthcare professional who can help you treat them.

How Are Seat Belt Injuries Treated?

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need to work with emergency medical personnel. You may need to go to the emergency room. After this, it is important to work with an auto accident doctor who can help you complete the recovery process. A few of the ways an accident chiropractor can help include:

  • A chiropractor can identify the root cause of your injury, helping you not only treat the symptoms on the surface but also address the underlying cause.
  • A chiropractor can use adjustments and manipulations to make sure your body is properly aligned, maximizing the recovery process.
  • A chiropractor uses treatments that have a very low risk of leading to complications or side effects.
  • A chiropractor may be able to help you stay out of the operating room and avoid prescription medications.

The goal of a chiropractor is to help you restore injured tissue using targeted treatment methods that allow your body to recover naturally, replacing scar tissue with native tissue. If you are looking for a chiropractor who can help you, rely on Dr. Jenkins at Seminole Chiropractic Center.

Should I Still Wear a Seat Belt in the Car?

After discussing all of these possible seat belt injuries, you may be wondering if you should still wear a seatbelt. After all, if you are wearing a seat belt and you can still get hurt, why should you wear it?

You need to make sure you wear your seatbelt because your injuries will likely be significantly worse if you do not wear it. It is true that a seat belt can lead to a few injuries, but a seat belt can also save your life. If you do not wear a seat belt, you could strike the inside of your car at very high speeds. You could even be ejected from the vehicle entirely, which could lead to life-threatening injuries. Even though a lot of the injuries looked at above can be frustrating, a seat belt still has the potential to save your life.

Therefore, make sure you not only wear your seat belt in the car but also wear it properly. If you have any questions or concerns about how to wear your seat belt, you should reach out to Seminole Chiropractic Center, where are member of our trained staff can help you.

Call Dr. Jenkins and Seminole Chiropractic Center!

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need to get your injuries treated as quickly as possible. Dr. Jenkins with Seminole Chiropractic Center can make sure all of your injuries are comprehensively addressed.

Make sure you place yourself in the best position possible to recover by working with a chiropractor who will customize your treatment plan to meet your needs. Contact us today to make an appointment!

orlando chiropractor examining patient's auto accident injury Get Treatment Today

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