While Americans are driving 37% more than they did in the 1990s, roads in the U.S. are actually becoming safer. The number of accidents on roads in the U.S. have decreased by 10%, dropping from 6,117,000 accidents to 5,505,000. In regards to fatalities, the number of those killed in automobile accidents in 1991 was 31,934. The numbers decreased 23% to 24,474 in 2009. For each 1,000 accidents, the number of those killed has dropped from 5.2 people to 4.4 people. Therefore, if accidents do happen, the chance of someone being killed is less.

In respect to injuries, the numbers have fallen 29%. While 2,850,000 people were injured in accidents in 1991, in 2009, the number is 2,011,000. Overall, automobile accidents are injuring less people when they do occur. Much of these positive trends are related to the way we are driving, the design and maintenance of our roads, and safety features on vehicles.

While driving is increasingly becoming safer, it is still possibly that you or someone you know may be involved in an automobile accident. After an automobile accident, address life-threatening injuries first. If you have bruising, bleeding, broken bones, problems breathing, loss of consciousness, shock, or internal pain, seek trauma-related treatment.  Be sure to discuss the following warning signs:

1. History of neck, shoulder, or back problem.
2. Numbness, tingling, or pain after an accident.
3. Muscle tension and loss of range of motion.
4. Your accident was a rear-end collision.
5. Your head was turned during impact.
6. Unresolved symptoms.

If you do walk away from an accident seemingly uninjured, there is still a potential for future health consequences. Symptoms often appear days or even weeks after an accident, making injuries difficult to diagnose, especially if they are intermittent. However, after an accident, there are several things you can do to improve your health and recovery. Chiropractic care has the potential to shorten recovery time and decrease physical damage.

Visit your chiropractor after an accident, even if you think you are uninjured. Chiropractic adjustments, massages, and certain exercise and stretching can help prevent injuries. Additionally, you should stay active with supervised exercise to encourage blood flow to the area of injury, which helps prevent scar tissue and maintain your range of motion. Call our chiropractic office as soon as possible after an accident to receive proper treatment.