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Posted on 05-12-2014

Proper Positioning of Safety Belts in Baltimore Auto Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are approximately 6,400 adults injured in auto accidents daily in the United States. Probably the easiest thing we can do as passengers in vehicles in Baltimore or elsewhere is to wear our safety belts correctly. Safety belts are designed to keep occupants restrained during a collision. Without these safety measures many people would be ejected from a vehicle through the windshield following a rear-end auto accident. Despite the ubiquity of safety belts there is a growing concern that many adults either do not wear them at all or mistakenly do not use them properly. When used improperly safety belts can actually cause increased injury to occupants.

For a seat belt to function as it was designed, the seat and the occupant must be in the correct position. The seat back should be upright and the occupant should be sitting back into the seat, with their lower back, hips and shoulders all touching the seat. The headrest should be adjusted to its maximum allowable height in order to cut down on the likelihood of the head hyper-extending over the top of the headrest during a rear-end impact.

Before engaging a safety belt, make sure to check that the material is flat and not twisted like a rope. At high speeds the edges of a twisted safety belt can cut into the soft tissue of the skin and caused abrasions and lacerations superficially, or worse, caused damage to internal organs.

The lap portion of the safety belt should be placed across the pelvis. Many people make the mistake of wearing this portion too high across the abdomen. During an automobile accident this can cause injuries to the abdominal muscles as well as the visceral organs and intestines.

The shoulder belt portion of the safety belt should be placed across the rib cage, sternum (breast bone), and mid way across the clavicle (collar bone). This puts the most pressure on bony structures that can withstand impact and not on soft tissue structures that can easily be injured at high speeds. Never make the mistake of placing this shoulder portion under your shoulder or behind your back. When the shoulder belt portion is not enable properly your body will not be protected in cases of auto accidents.

Fortunately for the citizens of Baltimore and the rest of the United States every vehicle we enter has access to safety belts which do a wonderful job at protecting and saving our lives during the unfortunate periods of automobile accidents. Unfortunately, if ignored completely or if used improperly, safety belts can and will cause injury to their occupants.

The next time you step into an automobile take the extra few seconds and make sure that you and those you are traveling with are safe. You will be glad you did!

If you, or anyone know you know, has been injured in an automobile accident in Baltimore and require treatment please contact Dr. Marc Gulitz and his team at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be glad to help!

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