The main purpose of seat belts is to safeguard your spine from a potentially significant impact and avoid serious injury in case of a car accident. Otherwise, there is a possibility that you get thrown out of a vehicle and acquire forced spinal trauma.
Any abrupt movement that compresses, twists or pulls on your spine could result in spinal injury. The good news is that seat belts, along with airbags, can help prevent injuries by keeping your body braced against your seat and reducing possible impact from the sides of the vehicle or the steering wheel.
Airbags and Seat Belts Safety Stats
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), airbags are very effective in preventing severe injuries and even death. On the other hand, airbags on the passenger side could be potentially harmful to kids aged 12 years old and below, and the safest spot for them inside a vehicle is in the back seat, properly restrained of course.
The CDC also states that seat belts decrease deaths and serious injuries related to car crashes by half. In 2016, the organization adds, seat belts saved approximately 15,000 lives.
While airbags offer extra protection, however, they should not be used as a replacement for seat belts,. This means that the combination of seat belts and airbags offer the best protection against auto accidents for adults.
Spine Injury Prevention
The most common injuries that airbags and seat belts can help prevent following an auto accident include:
- Whiplash – This could result in immediate symptoms or might manifest hours, days or even weeks later. If you feel neck pain, muscle spasms or numbness in the shoulders and arms after impact, it is best that you seek whiplash treatment in Orem as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
- Ruptured or Herniated Disk – This kind of injury typically impacts the back’s lower portion and is a result of the rupturing or bulging of a disk cushion between the backbones. Warning signs usually include leg pain or weakness, low back pain and in more serious cases, losing bladder or bowel control.
- Back Pain – Being injured in the chest area could result in pain, numbness and weakness that impacts your back, arms, shoulders and legs. Injuries sustained in the spine’s middle portion could even negatively impact your body’s temperature regulation and blood pressure.
The severe and sudden forces applied to the back and neck during auto accidents could result in tremendous trauma to the spine. That being said, car safety is a vital part of preventing auto accident-related injuries. If you experience neck pain following an auto accident or the symptoms mentioned above in your lower or middle back like numbness or weakness, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
While auto accidents are the most common causes of injury to the spine, neck, back and head, you can lower your risk of sustaining injuries by always wearing your seat belt and making sure that your vehicle is outfitted with airbags.