How many car crashes in Utah? 54,036
How many people involved? 134,182
How many deaths? 256
How many lives estimated saved by current seatbelt use? 98
How many estimated additional lives would be saved if everyone wore a seatbelt? 36
When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I was in a car crash as the passenger of the vehicle (right side). The driver tried to turn left where she was required to yield to three lanes of oncoming traffic. She did not time it correctly and an oncoming car struck my side of the vehicle going about 25-30 MPH. As I recall we were able to get out of the car after the incident so if you based my injuries on the damage to the car perhaps I would be okay, right? Well, my parents were happy I didn’t have any broken bones, bruising or scrapes, but about a week later I woke up with terrible muscle spasms that would not allow me to turn my neck. I’m a trooper so I went to school the whole day and my mom said to do my best while she tried to get me an appointment with the doctor. We went to the doctor and he tried some hot packs on my neck and shoulder and since he was an Osteopath, tried to manipulate my neck. I remember it really didn’t want to move. So he sent me home and I don’t recall anything more than just rest and hope it gets better. Well, some thirty years later and I’ve been dealing with neck and shoulder issues since that time not really understanding for years that the first car crash whiplash injury I experienced contributed to that.
Of the total persons involved in car crashes (not including those that ended fatally), only about 17% reported that they experienced auto accident related injuries. Now let me explain why I have a problem with this statistic. Through the experiences of seeing and talking with patients in the clinic, there is something that really bothers me. It’s the fact that someone who experienced some type of car accident, didn’t get the care they needed at that time and years later they suffer the consequences. Now I don’t think anyone does this on purpose. In most cases they just don’t understand what happens to their ligaments, muscles and spine when they are impacted by forces beyond normal limits. I’m not talking about broken bones, major cuts, abrasions or losing consciousness, but other injuries that might not be visible at first.
I am one of the lucky ones, because I’ve been able to get regular chiropractic care, learned what types of exercises I could do on my own and even had a stem cell procedure to help with my chronic neck pain. I haven’t had to go the route of pain pills and surgery for which I am extremely grateful. The reason I tell this story is because if I can help someone recognize muscle, ligament or spine injuries caused by an auto collision and get treatment right away, then my experience will be a benefit to someone. I would not wish anyone to endure suffering or long term consequences years down the road because I did not try to help.
With the help of the doctors and staff, I designed a short 13 Point Self-Evaluation Guide for those involved in a car crash. Also, if you’re not sure and you just want to talk to someone, call us for an appointment (801)756-7800. Don’t wait to find out years later like I did. Get the care you need now.
– Kristin Lee