When you get into your car, you hear the dinging sound reminding you to wear your seat belt. Car manufacturers install this safety feature to help protect you from serious injuries or death during an accident, especially when you’d otherwise be ejected out of the car.
While wearing a seat belt may help save your life, the force it exerts on your body during an accident can cause serious injuries. For this reason, it’s vital that you seek medical attention, even when you don’t feel injured. This is important because some injuries aren’t always apparent immediately after the accident. Keep reading to learn some of the common seat belt-related injuries.
A seat belt holds you in place and prevents you from being ejected from the car during a crash. However, the seat belt doesn’t hold your head or neck. Therefore, when an accident happens, the impact force may cause a sudden back-and-forth head movement and cause whiplash.
Chest and sternum injuries
Because the seat belt strap sits across the chest, the forceful impact of a car accident can cause serious internal injuries. During a serious car accident, the seat belt exerts more pressure on the sternum, possibly injuring the heart and lungs.
The force from a car accident may cause the lap seat belt to constrict, and this may cause excessive pressure on your abdomen. This pressure may sometimes damage internal organs like the kidneys. Pain in the abdomen is one of the first signs of kidney damage. If your kidneys are severely damaged, you will see traces of blood in your urine.
The collarbone is located at the top of the torso, and your seatbelt strap rests against it. Therefore, when the seat belt locks during a collision, the excessive pressure may cause the collarbone to break. When this happens, you will most likely experience stiffness, swelling or tenderness around the area. You may also experience excruciating pain as you move the shoulder.
If you were injured in a car accident, whether from a seat belt or not, it’s crucial you seek medical attention. You may also be eligible for compensation if the crash resulted from negligence.