Since the time that cars hit the road, accidents have become part and parcel of vehicular traffic. Previously, road accidents were not as serious, since cars were slow and less in number. Today, with faster cars, these car accidents have taken catastrophic proportions taking lives of thousands every year.
In the United States alone, there were 37,461 fatalities in 2016.
Although road safety measures try to keep pace with the increasing traffic, car accidents remain a step ahead. This is due to a number of reasons.
Furthermore, car accidents can cause numerous issues with both your physical health, your financial situation, and much more.
Keep reading below to learn how to avoid car accidents and what to do if you happen to be in one!
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Smartphones have become a major distraction for car drivers, who, more often than not, are caught looking at their phones, instead of paying attention to the traffic, resulting in a crash.
Eating, reading and grooming are other reasons.
Driving Under the Influence
Whether it is alcohol or drugs, both are a ready recipe for disaster, since both impair judgement and numb the senses. This prevents car drivers from taking evasive actions, resulting in accidents.
Signage’s such as ‘Speeding thrills, but kills’ are often found displayed on the road with good reason.
According to data produced by The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL),
“Speeding above the limit increases the risk of accident involvement. Younger drivers were heavily represented amongst the high-speed drivers, and males were more likely than females to be travelling fast when involved in an accident.”
The urge to speed is hard to resist, so it comes as no surprise that speeding is the second most common cause of accidents.
Not Following Traffic Rules
Jumping a red light, changing lanes without indicating, racing with other cars, moving in the wrong direction on a one-way lane, taking abrupt turns, driving recklessly in speed zones, and other violations of traffic rules lead to accidents.
According to a 1999 study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention,
“About 40% of motor vehicle crashes occur at intersections. In recent years, the number of crashes at traffic signals has increased considerably. A major cause of such crashes is drivers disregarding traffic signals.”
If you would like to remain accident free, follow the road rules!
Keeping a safe distance from the car in front is important. The higher the speed, the more distance you should keep between yourself and the car in-front of you. This is because the driver gets reaction time to brake in time without crashing into the car ahead and initiating a pile up.
Younger drivers are more susceptible to these issues.
According to a study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention,
“the data from young drivers showed two disturbing characteristics: first, a notable dissociation between perceived and actual ability and, second, a tendency to view themselves as immune from the effects of higher levels of risk, which they are prepared to ascribe to their peers but not to themselves.”
Adverse Weather Conditions
Rain, sleet, hail and storm, and other adverse weather conditions impair visibility and make the road slippery. High winds may uproot trees and cause road obstructions by blowing objects on to the road.
These all are likely to cause accidents.
However, bad weather itself does not necessarily cause an increase in accidents since most drivers drive more cautiously in adverse conditions. According to a study published by the National Technical University of Athens,
“It is found that, contrary to much previous research, increases in rainfall reduce the total number of accidents and fatalities as well as the pedestrian accidents and fatalities, a finding that may be attributed to the safety offset hypothesis resulting from more cautious and less speedy driver behavior. Similarly, temperature increase was found to lead to increased accidents.”
Although bad weather can make driving much more difficult, if you proceed cautiously, you should not have a problem!
Adverse Road Conditions
Broken and potholed roads pose a grave risk for driving. At times, construction work on the road is not marked with warning signs. All this may lead to accidents.
Despite headlights and high beams, nighttime driving remains risky. This is because darkness limits visibility and high beams of oncoming cars can blind the drivers for a few seconds causing accidents.
Along with that, nighttime drivers also are more at risk of driving while sleepy or tired.
As stated by a study published in the journal Sleep,
“Our indirect estimate of sleep influenced accidents approaches data reported by other European countries and highlights the importance of sleepiness as a direct and/or contributing factor in vehicle accident rates.”
Teenage drivers with their impulsive nature are a serious road hazard. Their lack of experience and propensity for distraction are likely to cause accidents.
As stated by a study published in the Journal of Safety and Research,
“Data obtained from this study indicate that adults, particularly parents, should discourage underage adolescents from experimenting driving and should actively cultivate a positive attitude toward driving.”
Although young people should absolutely learn to drive, they should do it in a safe and controlled environment until they have enough experience.
Lack of maintenance of the car is another reason why accidents happen. Worn out tires may go flat and make the car swerve unexpectedly, while over inflated tires may burst, leading to accidents. An engine stalling suddenly in the midst of the road may also cause accidents.
What to Do After You Have Been in a Car Accident?
If you are a victim of an auto accident, all hope is not lost. According to a report by the Insurance Research Council, a third of all auto accident claimants consult a chiropractor for treatment. This further reinforces the critical role played by chiropractic in treating victims of accidents.
Most people are never prepared when an accident happens. Catastrophe is difficult to prepare for. But with any emergency, it is always important to consider what we might need to do in case an accident does happen.
The following tips recommended by auto accident chiropractic specialists can help you remain safe and minimize your injuries in the instance of an accident.
Try to Remain Calm:
In an accident situation, it is essential you remain calm as much as possible because your immediate reaction to the accident may either exacerbate or minimize your injury. If you are conscious, it is important that you assess the situation and avoid imminent danger. For instance, if the vehicle is on fire, try to get out of harm’s way immediately.
Otherwise, it is always best to stay calm and wait for help to arrive.
Try to minimize movement before the police or emergency response unit arrives as struggling to free yourself from your seat belt could worsen any potential head or neck injury.
Assess Your Level of Injury:
Try to be aware of areas of pain that you might have so you can report these to emergency response personnel. But remember, a medical professional will examine you to determine the full extent of your injuries.
It is to be noted that some pains do not manifest immediately, so if you do not feel pain immediately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all is well.
In some victims, pain surfaces after days, weeks or months. Do not delay in seeking medical help even if there are no outward bodily injuries, or if you feel relatively fine at the moment.
Provide Necessary Details to the Emergency Team:
As soon as the emergency response team arrives on the scene, it is essential to explain exactly what happened to them so that they can efficiently assess the level of injury you suffered.
If you have any history of neck, head or spinal injury, it is important to let them know. This will help them plan the evacuation in such a way as to minimize further injuries.
Be Fully Aware of the Extent of Your Insurance Claims:
Some insurance companies may seem to minimize the extent of your injures in cases where visible bodily injuries are absent.
Ensure that even minor or hidden injuries are properly evaluated and documented by a medical professional so that insurance effectively covers your medical expenses from the auto accident.
How to Choose Between an Insurance Company or a Lawyer After a Car Accident
If you have been in an auto accident, then the chances are that you will have two choices:
- Contacting your insurance company if your car is insured
- Getting a lawyer
The insurance company will give you an offer. Now, it is up to you to determine whether you will accept the offer or not. You will also have the ability to negotiate with the company as well. However, if you accept the offer, you must know that the personal injury claims will not be made.
If you would like to obtain the best results from your car accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer such as Ritchie Reiersen Injury can help you get what you are looking for.
If your injuries are significant, it is recommended that you spend your time finding yourself a good lawyer because a lawyer is the only one who has the ability to provide the rights that you deserve.
The Process of Claiming an Injury:
The process starts when you report your damage and start a claim with the insurance agency, or with your own particular insurance agency in case of a first gathering claim. For example, if the “to blame” driver did not have protection or had deficient protection.
It finishes when you choose to acknowledge or dismiss the last settlement offer from the insurance agency’s case agent.
It is useful to consider an arrangement of the whole individual damage guarantee process. The case agent will workto decrease your claim with an end goal of paying you a minimal compensation.
Now the question is, how to negotiate with your insurance company? You can do so by going through the following steps:
- The first step is to let the company know that you have been injured. You can do that over a phone call or by filling out a form online. However, in order to obtain this ability, you would have to do this within 24 hours of your car accident.
- The company will send a letter to you stating that they will help you out in this matter.
- Then you will demand a certain amount of money.
- They will negotiate and settle to a money range which will be in the favor of both the parties.
- When you have made a counteroffer, arrangements will continue. The agents may not react to your counteroffer immediately, but you should be patient and hold up to the point that the agents make another offer. In the event that you call the agent before they give you another offer, you will damage your odds of accepting a reasonable settlement.
- The arrangement procedure may include a few more offers and counteroffers between you and the agents of the company. You should keep on defending your position, making sure that you present enough proof of your wounds and different injuries that you incorporated into your request letter. Ideally, you and the agent will land at a settlement that will pay the compensation of the injury that the accident may have caused.
- The last point refers to the settlement of the case. In this part, you will have to either accept or decline the offer depending on the condition. You can go to a personal injury lawyer for further information.
Check out these tips which will further help you:
Prepare Yourself for Every Possibility
It is not very easy to find someone in the same situation. Make sure you know what you will be required to do and prepare for the possible answers. Make sure that you go through the internet if you are not very well aware of the whole process. Talk to family members and always look for help.
Patience is the number one key. The procedure may or may not take time. Whatever is the case, you will have to wait. Calling or reminding them will make no difference because each procedure requires a certain time period.
Once you have made a decision, you have to stick to it. If you are not sticking to it, it means you are not sure about it. They can use this as your weakness and make you settle for a smaller amount.
Keep yourself updated during every single step. This will help you to stay aware. Moreover, the company will not take you lightly once they know that you know what you are talking about.
Also, take the time to recover yourself physically after a car accident. This will help you make better decisions as well.
Recovering Your Physical Health After a Severe Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident that damaged your physical health, you might feel completely lost on how to regain your old form. No one plans to get into a severe accident that damages their health, and it can be especially disappointing for people who are conscious about their physical condition already.
Whether you were hit by an 18-wheeler or simply collided with a similar-sized car, any car accident can cause physical damage to your body.
Fortunately, it is not as difficult to improve your health while you are injured as you might have already thought!
As a basketball player, I am used to maintaining my physical shape while injured. I have broken my 5th metacarpal (twice), ankle, 5th metatarsal (twice), along with tearing and spraining various ligaments throughout my body.
Check out these tips that can ultimately help you stay in shape and improve your physical health after a car accident!
Step 1: Manage Physical Pain Accordingly
If you were in a severe car accident, it is likely that your injuries are causing you some amount of physical pain.
Many doctors prescribe opioid-based pain medication for any severe injuries, but the over-prescription of opioids has caused an addiction epidemic throughout many parts of the world.
A non-addiction option for pain management is cannabis-based pain medication; specifically CBD oil.
I have a lot of personal experience using CBD products, specifically after I fractured my spine in the fall of 2017. Living with chronic pain makes life nearly impossible, and people throughout the world are quickly learning that CBD oil is an incredible option to help regain quality of life!
Additional Information: How Long Does it Take CBD Oil to Work for Pain
Step 2: Put Your Diet in Check
If you suffer injuries from a car accident, it is likely that you will alter your exercise routine (and daily routine). Many people cannot physically exercise or perform daily tasks after a severe car accident, which is why it is vital to have a solid diet strategy.
Not only do you need to watch your macronutrient intake (carbohydrates, protein, dietary fats), but you need to supply your body with necessary micronutrients to repair any injuries.
There are many effective diets for people who cannot exercise; you simply have to find the diet which works best for you.
A few of my favorite diet strategies are:
Step 3: Begin Physical Therapy or an Exercise Routine
Unless you have sustained life-threatening or severe physical injuries, you should try to begin exercising as soon as you are comfortable moving. If you let your body rest too long, your muscles will begin to atrophy.
Muscle memory is an amazing function of the human body, and physical therapy will help you recover strength and coordination quickly.
Furthermore, working with a physical therapist after a car accident is a great way to speed up your recovery and return your body to full strength quickly.
Exercise is a vital portion of having a healthy and lasting physique, and you shouldn’t let a car accident slow you down for too long!
Learn More: Types of Physical Therapy
Seek Chiropractic Care:
Visiting a chiropractor for professional chiropractic care is always one of the first things you should do, as these healthcare professionals specialize in treating many of the most common automobile accident-related injuries there are.
We reached out to Inver Grove Heights Chiropractor Dr. Ryan Hetland, who specializes in auto accident chiropractic care. Dr. Hetland advised,
“When you treat an injury like this right away, you are putting the body in the best possible position to heal and recover quickly. This is why you need to visit a chiropractor right away. They can help put the spine in line and help the body start healing right away.”
Read More: 7 Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care
If you are a driver, you should already be aware of these and many more road hazards, and do your best to avoid them. Anticipating such hazards and inculcating self-discipline while driving is half the battle won.
Fortunately, there are ways to recover your physical health after a car accident, and there are options for you if you have been in a car accident. However, no one wants to be in that situation.
There are many additional resources where you can read more about how you can prevent such accidents from happening. Use these resources and your recovery period should be much less stressful!