ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries car accident victims suffer. The injury occurs when there’s a sudden and forceful change in the position of the neck. A Rochester car accident lawyer with Cellino & Barnes says this typically happens in rear-end car crashes.
According to the Whiplash Prevention Campaign, the most common symptom people who sustain whiplash report is pain due to mild muscle strain or injury to the tissues in the neck. Some may experience injuries in the nerves and spinal discs. In severe cases of whiplash, the ligaments in the neck may be affected or there may be a broken neck bone.
Whiplash injuries can cause discomfort and stiffness in the neck that may lead to decreased movement in the head and neck. These symptoms can last for weeks or months at a time, which is why it’s important to learn how to prevent them in a car accident.
Understanding How Whiplash Occurs
Whiplash is an injury to the neck that results from a sudden and forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck. The differential movement between the head and torso often strains the soft tissues, such as the neck muscles and ligaments, beyond their normal range of motion.
Upon a rear impact, a driver’s head and torso move backward. The car seat supports the torso, so its movement remains restricted; however, the head flings further backward — extending past the torso — until the headrest brings it to a stop.
Reducing the Likelihood of Whiplash in a Rear-End Accident
While whiplash can occur from other events, most instances of whiplash result from a rear-end car accident. Often, these accidents happen at low speeds, yet still result in whiplash. However, a car accident attorney in Rochester says drivers and passengers may reduce their chances of getting whiplash in a car accident by taking three important measures.
Using the headrest of your seat properly carries perhaps the greatest impact in avoiding whiplash. Most cars include well-designed head restraints that play a large role in helping you reduce whiplash symptoms, especially when you adjust them correctly.
When adjusting your headrest, ask yourself two questions:
- Is the headrest high enough? The top of the restraint should align with the top of your head or ears.
- Is the headrest close enough to my body? The head restraint should be no further from your head than two (2) inches.
Drivers and passengers should sit upright and as far back in their seats as possible. Be sure to check that there is as little space between the back of your head and the headrest as there possibly can be. It might be necessary to adjust the angle at which your seat is inclined — the ideal inclination angle is less than 20 degrees.
Wearing your Seat Belt
This last tip should go without saying, but wearing your seat belt can greatly reduce the number of injuries and the extent of injuries you sustain in any type of car crash. To be most effective, Rochester car accident lawyers explained that every driver and passenger should wear a seat belt properly. The shoulder belt must lay across your chest while the lap belt should fit snugly across your lower hips.
Rochester Injury Lawyers You Can Trust
No injury is 100% preventable, which is why the attorneys with Cellino & Barnes focus fully on helping people recover everything they deserve after an accident harms them. If you’ve been in a rear-end crash in Rochester, NY and are experiencing whiplash symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit a medical doctor, then contact our firm to find out how we can help you get back on your feet.
Our lawyers are available 24/7 to work on your claim. Call now or complete our contact form for a free consultation without obligation.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888