7 Ways to Avoid Hitting a Deer While Driving

I know it is rare to see in San Francisco, but in the peninsula, there are a lot of deer on the side of the road.  Some seasons are more populous than others but hitting a deer anytime of the year is not something anyone wants.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, resulting in 200 fatalities, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage.  It is very traumatic when a deer jumps out in front of your car and you can’t do anything but brace yourself for the impact.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for deer while driving and what you should do if you do indeed hit a deer.

While driving:

  1. Watch for a pack.  Deer run together and when there is one, normally there is another around.  If you see any deer, slow down and keep an eye out for more, they can come out of the pack quickly.
  2. There are key times that deer like to hangout.  The key times are dusk and dawn.  Both of these time periods are when your vision is most compromised. Also, deer move around a lot during mating season (between October and January) this is during the time when it is dark early and very hard to see. Slow down and stay alert, especially after dark.
  3. Wear your seat belt.  If you do hit a deer, it can cause a lot of damage and it is like getting into a head on collision.  So with that said, you need to prevent yourself from getting severely injured.
  4. Know your surroundings and look for road signs. The yellow diamonds with the deer on it are placed in high-traffic areas for deer.  This is your first clue.  I am sure you may have heard the phrase “like a deer in the headlights” before.  This literally happens when a deer is on the road in front of your car.  They will turn toward you and their eyes will brightly reflect a car’s headlights, making them easier to spot.
  5. Stay Center. On a multi-lane road, the center lane is your safest bet for avoiding a deer collision, as long as your local traffic laws permit it. This gives deer plenty of space; and in case your vehicle does startle them, it gives you more time to react if one darts onto the road.
  6. If you see a deer, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane if possible.  Also, I have been told that instead of turning your wheel toward the head of the deer to aim toward the rear of the deer because the deer will probably run forward instead of backward.
  7. Put on your emergency lights to notify others of a hazard.  Some experts recommend that one long blast of the horn will scare deer off the road but sometimes it scares them into another car.  I also think it is a good idea to flash your lights to the cars on the other side of the road altering them as well.  They need to know just in case there are other deer in their pathway.

We hope you’ll never need this section.

According to most Car Insurance Agencies, if you do hit a deer, this is what they recommend.

  1. Pull to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights and remain in the vehicle until you are sure it is safe.
  3. Call emergency services if injuries are involved or the local police for property damage.
  4. Stay away from the deer. If it is still alive, it could be confused, injured and dangerous if approached. When contacting the authorities, let them know if the deer is in a dangerous spot on the road so that it can be removed.  In the bay area Animal Control comes to pick up the deer if it is injured or deceased on the road.
  5. Contact your insurance company as quickly as possible to report any damage to your vehicle.

Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents – Which is Safer to Drive?

Everyone knows that driving can be dangerous.  Even the best drivers can be subjected to drivers who drive too fast , don’t obey the driving rules, drive recklessly, talk on their phones or are intoxicated.  This does increase the chance of even the best of us getting in a car accident.  Most of us hear about car accidents but there are many truck accidents as well.  In 2011, approximately 32,367 people were killed in the estimated 5,338,000 motor vehicle traffic crashes reported by the police department and 2,217,000 people were injured.  What that means is that on average, 89 people die every day in a car accident. That means 1 in every 16 minutes.   That is a lot more startling than I thought it would be.

All over the US, you see SUVs.  Most of the time with one person in them.  People say they feel safer in the larger vehicle.  So that brings up a question?  Does it matter if you are in a truck or a car when you get in a car accident?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, small or lighter vehicles (such as passenger cars) have less structure and size to absorb crash energy, resulting in higher crash force. So that means that in a car accident that involves a light vehicle v. a heavier car, more body damage will happen to the smaller car.

Here is a catch though.  Pickups and SUVs are higher risks for rolling over. So, it may be a fact that heavier cars are safer, it will all depend on the type of accident involving the truck or SUV.

Smaller vehicles can be crushed easier, run off the road or destroyed by a head-on collision by a heavier vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, more accidents occurred with cars than with trucks in 2011:

  • The number of occupants killed in accidents involving: passenger cars (11,981), light trucks (9,272) and large trucks (635).
  • The number of occupants injured in accidents involving: passenger cars (1,240,000), light trucks (728,000) and large trucks (23,000).
  • In 2011, there were 9,878 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities including drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, 24% for drivers of passenger cars, 21% for light-truck drivers, and 1% for drivers of large trucks.
  • 3,757 of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities involved large trucks (more than 10,000 pounds). Of those crashes, 72% were occupants of other vehicles and 17% were occupants of large trucks. 70% of large trucks collided with other vehicles in transit.

You must take into consideration that there are a lot more smaller vehicles on the road than larger trucks so these numbers may seem larger because of the amounts on the road.  The alcohol impaired driving statistics can be lowered by just calling a taxi, checking into a hotel room if you are drinking too much or having a friend drive.

Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, please pay attention to what other people are doing, don’t consume alcohol and get in a vehicle and obey the phone and traffic laws.  Though you may think they are annoying, the laws are put there for a good reason and are passed for everyone’s protection.  If you drive a heavy vehicle, it doesn’t mean that the smaller cars have to yield to you.  Lets all be courteous and mindful of others on the road.

references: http://bigcitydriver.com/2013/06/comparison-truck-accidents-vs-car-accidents/

How Dangerous is Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving?

As you know, Californians need to be “hands free”.  Why?  Because it is dangerous to drive while texting and using a cell phone.  If you check the statistics they show that at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are in some fashion, attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile. Back when I was a kid, it was hard enough trying to maneuver the radio much less navigate through a phone.  Well, smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times through email, texting and internet but all of this technology has distracted people and make it hard to focus on just 1 task at hand. That task being driving. Cell phone distraction rates are alarmingly high and come with hefty fines if caught using your phone behind the wheel. Here are a few statistics that may alarm you:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
  • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

How do teen drivers fall into these statistics?

  • 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
  • According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.

2012 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics

  • In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
  • About 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • In 2012, 11% of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
  • 1/4 of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive and 20% of teens and 10% of parents report having multi-text message conversations while driving.

2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
  • Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
  • In the survey, 24% of drivers reported that they are willing to make a phone call while driving.
  • One in 10 drivers surveyed said that, at least sometimes, they send text messages or emails while driving.
  • Of the drivers surveyed, 14% said they read text messages or emails while driving.
  • A majority of respondents supported laws that banned talking on cell phones, texting, or emailing while driving.

What if I am a Pedestrian?  How dangerous is it to text while walking?According to Researchers conducting a study from the University of Washington in 2012, it can be.  They monitored 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections and observed the following:

  • Pedestrians who text are 4x less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.
  • They also found that texting pedestrians take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.

Not only is it dangerous to text while driving but walking and texting is dangerous too.  I have had patients run into polls, get hit by a passing bicycle and even get hit by a car.  If you are going to use your phone, take the time to either pull to the side of the road or if not in a car, find an area that is safe.

Could Inadequate Police Reports Be Contributing To The Number Of Bicycle Deaths?

 Anne Lusk, a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, believes this to be true and says in a new study published in the journal of Injury Prevention. She and her colleagues have created a blueprint for improving bike-vehicle crash reports.

Lusk said in an interview with Boston’s WBUR radio station that instead of the standard glib, handwritten and standard crash reports, officers should:

“use electronic tablets with drop down menus that have specific vehicle/bicycle codes, for instance, whether the bicyclist was riding inside a painted bike lane when hit, or whether the cyclist crashed into a driver’s open car door. The drop down menu would also include other specific data like a coded vehicle picture and a coded bicycle picture. This information could then be automatically loaded onto spreadsheets for later analysis.”

Joshua Zisson, a Boston lawyer who specializes in bike-related cases and runs BikeSafeBoston, a website about bike law, told WBUR:

“The proposed changes would make a huge difference in determining what happened in a crash, and who was at fault. In the three years since I started my bike practice, I’ve seen hundreds of police reports describing bike vs. motor vehicle crashes, and I would only consider a handful of them to be well written and properly descriptive. The majority range from bad to absolutely awful (i.e., too vague, too brief, poorly illustrated, not illustrated). Giving officers better tools to describe a crash with a bike will almost certainly allow them to do a better job, as they won’t have to force their description of events into a framework designed for cars.”

With gas prices the way they are these days and traffic issues, these changes are crucial.  The League of American Bicyclists, state that the number of commuters who bike to and from work has increased about 62 percent nationwide from 2000 to 2013.   Bicyclists are usually riding during commute hours and we need to learn to accommodate them.

Our law enforcement needs to figure out a way to help bicyclists after an accident, take care of the paperwork in a manner that will help cities determine what changes need to be made in order to make it safer for them to arrive safely at work, and also make it easy for vehicular traffic.

References:  http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/study-police-reports-bike-accidents-save-lives

Professional Race Car Driver Injuries

 

I see a lot of people post car accident who worry about why they have an injury to the neck after what they think is a low impact car accident.  After reading this research, it is clear that car accidents cause damage, even if you are not a race car driver.  Professional race car drivers have top notch safety features.  Yes, they are going very fast but the cars are specially made for impact and drivers get injured.  Sometimes severely.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that people driving a “regular” street car get injured when hit by another vehicle.

The following data is from an investigation regarding injuries during and after races between 1996 and 2000.  The results  were recorded through medical charts from the circuit medical centre at Fuji Speedway (one of  the largest circuits in Japan).  Race car drivers were from single seat/formula cars or saloon  cars.

Results: Data was obtained from 39 races in single seat cars (1030 participating cars) and 42 races in saloon  cars (1577 cars).

50 injuries were recorded during the single seat car races, and 62 during the saloon car races (injury rate 1.2 per  1000 competitors per race and 0.9 per 1000 competitors per race respectively). Thirteen injuries were recorded  after the race, 12 of them in saloon car racing. Bruises were the major injury in single seat car racing (58%). Lower limb bruising was more common than upper limb bruising. Most of the injuries in saloon car racing (53.2%) were neck sprains. The incidence of concussion was high in both groups compared with other high risk sports.

Conclusions: There were some differences in injuries between the two types of car. No serious injuries occurred except for one death. However, the driver’s body is subjected to large forces in a crash, hence the high incidence of concussion. The injuries recorded after the race emphasize that motor racing is a demanding sport.

Racing drivers are exposed to high risk situations such as car crashes. However, it is not clear exactly how much G force is loaded on the driver’s body in such situations. Because the driver’s muscles resist the G force in an actual crash, the G force loaded on the body may be smaller than that recorded by the car telemeters. Forces that cause severe injuries, such as concussions and fractures, are around 5–10 G, which are produced by acute deceleration of about 150–200 km/h.

Moreover, racing requires extraordinary physical performance in extreme conditions such as the high G forces caused by breaking and cornering, heavy steering, and high temperature. In addition, it is said that the heart rate increases up to 170–180 beats/min during cornering.1

Thus motor sport is highly risky and demanding, and injuries are recorded both during and after races. The purpose of this research was to draw attention to motor sport by investigating injuries of racing drivers and to present a profile of those injuries.

METHODS

Injuries recorded during and after races held at Fuji Speedway, which is one of the biggest circuits in Japan, between 1996 and 2000 were investigated retrospectively by using medical charts from the circuit medical centre. All drivers involved in crashes during the race were sent to the medical centre to be checked by a doctor, even if they did not complain of any symptoms; therefore no in-race injuries were overlooked. Some drivers may have gone directly to hospital, so some post-race injuries may have been missed.

The diagnoses of injured drivers who needed further examination at a hospital were recorded at the medical centre. Therefore, all injuries that were checked were recorded.

Neck pain resulting only from injured soft tissue was recorded as a neck sprain. Drivers who experienced either confusion or amnesia after the crash were diagnosed as having concussion. No driver lost consciousness as the result of a crash.

Two types of race were investigated, single seat/formula cars and saloon cars, as it was hypothesized that the difference in car design would result in different injuries. Only the main races involving professional drivers were selected for research, because the accident rate may be different between novice and professional drivers. During the five year study period, there were few changes in regulations on racing cars. This means that the type and incidence of injuries did not differ very much during these five years.

Injuries in single seat and saloon car racing showed that neck sprains and bruises were the most common in both types of car. All injuries to the neck were sprains. Therefore, in the analysis of injury type, neck sprains were not included in the sprains category, but were treated as a separate injury.

 

  Single seat car racing

The number of participating cars was 1030, in 39 races. Fifty injuries      (including one death) were recorded during the races and one afterwards.  The in-race injury rate was approximately 1.2 per 1000 competitors per  race.

Bruises made up 58% of the injuries, and neck sprains accounted for  34%. The other four injuries were: ankle sprain, abrasion, concussion,  and death. The death occurred when the car hit the sign board, which  stands at the start line, after being sent airborne when its tyre hit that of  another car in the straight section of the circuit. The cause of death was  recorded as cerebral contusion. The car may have hit the finishing gate  directly at more than 200 km/h because the gravel prevented effective  deceleration, so the death may have been instantaneous. Therefore, the  death was considered an isolated injury and was not included in the  analysis of site of injury. One driver with concussion was sent to hospital,  but there were no significant findings on computed tomography scan.

Analysis of the injured body sites showed that most injuries were to the neck 34%. The next most injured body sites were the lower limbs 24%; 11 of these 12 injuries were bruises and the other was an ankle sprain. The number of injuries to the upper limbs was smaller 14%. Six of these seven injuries were also bruises, and the other one was an abrasion. Head/face injuries accounted for 10%; four of these injuries were bruises to the head, and one was a concussion. This shows that the head was prone to hard impacts even though helmets were worn.

One driver seen at the medical centre after the race complained of pain in both forearms. This was thought to be compartment syndrome, but he had no nervous symptoms.

 Saloon car racing

The number of participating cars was 1577, in 42 races. There were 62 injuries recorded during the race and 12  afterwards. The in-race injury rate accounted for approximately 0.9 per 1000 competitors per race.

Most of the in-race injuries were neck sprains 53%. Bruises accounted for 27%; this was much less than in single  seat car racing. There were five fractures; these were diagnosed at the hospital. Three were tibial, one was an L1  burst fracture, and another was a Bennett fracture. The rest of the injuries were concussion, sprain, and  abrasion. Two drivers who had concussion were also sent to the hospital; there were no significant findings on  computed tomography scan.

The neck was the most commonly injured body site 53%. The next most common site of injury was the upper limbs 21%, more than lower limb injuries, which accounted for 16%. Head/face injuries accounted for 5%; two of these were concussions and one was a face abrasion. The abrasion may have occurred because the helmet rubbed against the face when it shifted during impact.

More injuries were recorded after the race than for single seat cars. Four of the 12 “injuries” were dehydration. One driver had a stomach ache, and the other seven cases were Orthopaedic problems. Two of the latter were right shoulder pain, and the drivers could not lift their arms.

DISCUSSION

There are some difficulties in analyzing the incidence of injuries among racing drivers, because the conditions of each race are not always the same. The number of participating cars can vary from race to race. As the number of cars increases, more accidents are likely to occur. Also, the speed is different in each category—accidents with faster cars may be more common and severe than with slower cars. Therefore the injury incidence can differ from race to race. These factors which are specific to motor sport make analysis difficult.

We selected races involving professional drivers only because there may be a difference between incidents involving novice drivers and those involving professional drivers. Furthermore, the racing cars used in professional categories are faster. In addition, we investigated two different types of car, saloon and single seat, hypothesizing that the difference in car design would affect the injury profile. The main differences are: (a) the saloon car has a roof—that is, the cockpit is an enclosed space—but the single seat car is open; (b) the cockpit of the single seat car is cramped, especially with regard to leg room. In contrast, the cockpit of the saloon car is relatively spacious.

Bruises accounted for 27% of the injuries in saloon car racing, whereas bruises accounted for 58% of the injuries in single seat car racing. Analysis of the body sites where bruises occurred in the two groups showed that lower limb injuries were more common in single seat car racing, and upper limb injuries were more common in saloon car racing. This can be explained by the lack of leg room in single seat cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States investigates traffic accidents, using the National Accident Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (CDS). Their data for car accidents between 1988 and 1989 show that injuries to the arms are more common than to the legs.  This is the same as our data on saloon cars, the design of which is based on ordinary cars. In our research, neck injuries accounted for 53% and head/face injuries 5% of the total in saloon cars. In single seat cars, the corresponding percentages were 34% and 10%. The distance to the steering wheel is short in single seat cars compared with saloon cars, so drivers are susceptible to hitting their head/face on the steering wheel when they crash. This may explain the higher head/face injury rate. The chances of hitting the steering wheel may be low in saloon car racing, but tension forces on the neck may be higher when the head has to stop without hitting something. Therefore the neck injury rate in saloon car racing is high. The head/face injury rate was not high in either group compared with CDS data (39%), and all injuries were classified as abbreviated injury scale (AIS) 1, which is produced by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (table 2).This is because racing drivers are restrained by six point seat belts, and helmets protect their heads.

 

The percentage of neck injuries was high in both groups, but there were no serious injuries such as fractures or dislocations, and all neck injuries were sprains classified as AIS 1. This may be because the driver’s neck does not encounter excessive pure tensile, tension-extension, and lateral bending loading. It has been suggested that pure tensile loading on the neck without any other force must exceed 100 G to produce severe neck injuries.  Such a G force is not likely to occur in most crashes. Furthermore, even though the driver hits his head somewhere in the cockpit, the neck may not encounter traumatic tension-extension and lateral bending loading. This is because the six point seatbelt restrains the body from moving too much when the car crashes, and thus the head does not strike the front with excessive force, which may produce tension-extension injury. Moreover, the headrest of the bucket seat used in the saloon car and the design of the single seat car, which protects the sides and back of the head, also prevent tension-extension and lateral bending loading.

Two out of three head/face injuries in saloon cars and one out of six head/face injuries in single seat cars were concussions. The three patients with concussions had amnesia or confusion, but no loss of consciousness. This incidence of concussion is approximately 1.3 per 1000 drivers in saloon car racing (which is a rate of about 4.8% per race) and approximately 1.0 per 1000 drivers in single seat car racing (which is a rate of about 2.6% per race). In soccer, which has a comparably high incidence of concussion to American football, the rate of concussion is 0.15–0.34 per 1000 athlete exposures (estimated rates are about 1–2% per season for a typical female or male collegiate soccer player).This shows that motor racing has a high rate of concussion compared with other high risk sports, even though drivers are protected by seat belts and helmets.

What is already known

Racing drivers are known to suffer various disorders; low back pain is typical. Injuries are known to occur in motor sport, but there are few data on the injuries specific to this sport

What this study adds

Injuries to racing drivers during and after the race were investigated. A difference was found between injuries in single seat and saloon car racing. Neck injuries were not severe, but the concussion rate was higher than in other sports.

There is now a device to prevent head and neck injuries called the head and neck support (HANS). This is designed to reduce movement of the driver’s head in a crash and thereby the force on the neck. In our research, there were no fatal neck injuries, but many neck sprains. This device may prevent such neck injuries and may also decrease head injuries. It is not certain how concussions occur when racing cars crash. It may be the result of hitting the head against something in the cockpit or the result of the sudden acceleration of the head. HANS restricts head movement through tethers attached to the driver’s helmet, therefore it may cause the head to stop suddenly during a crash. We are concerned that such an abrupt deceleration may result in traumatic force on the brain.

 

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5 Tips to Avoiding a Wrong-Way Driver

Sometimes people get confused while they are driving and go on the wrong side of the street.  It has probably happened to you and it is pretty scary when lights are coming your way on your side of the road.

 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that roughly 400 people die each year from wrong-way drivers. Jim Avila from ABC News reported:

“Most of the deaths occur from head-on, high-speed accidents. In fact, 22 percent of wrong-way crashes are fatal, compared with less than one percent of all other crashes.” NTSB’s Chairman, Deborah Hersman, said these types of accidents were “completely preventable.”

When visiting Milwaukee, WI, I have been told that there is a high rate of people going the wrong way on freeway ramps. Normally a driver who has been drinking is confused and heading in the wrong direction. According to the governmental agency, drivers under the influence cause 60% of wrong-way crashes and 15 % by drivers over the age of 70.

So, how can you safely avoid these wrong way drivers?

1. Stay to the right: If someone is impaired while driving, they will normally go to the right side of the freeway because they think it is the slow lane and are afraid of being pulled over for speeding while impaired.

 

2. Always look further down the freeway.  A lot of drivers only look a couple of hundred feet ahead.  Make sure you really scan the area and look for oncoming lights.

 

3. Always wear a seatbelt!  It is the law and is there to keep you safe.  Remember, this car is coming at you.  that means that it is possible a head on collision and you can avoid serious injury if you are wearing a seatbelt.  Also, make sure your cell phone is secure and easily available when you are driving.  If a crash does occur and you are not capable of moving in the car, it is great to have your phone handy to call for emergency vehicles.  When calling 911, please give the license plate number, description of the vehicle, and location and direction of travel.

 

4. Look at the reflectors!  A lot of road reflectors are colored, white on one side and red on the other. So, if you are seeing red reflectors on the road, it’s you who is on the wrong side; stop and turn around.  If you are seeing white or yellow reflectors you are on the right side of the road.

 

5. Flashing lights: If someone is coming toward you, stay to the right and flash your lights.  This may be the wake up call they need to understand that they are not doing something right and actually pull over and redirect.

 

If you are on the road and you see a car going in the wrong direction, call 911 and report the vehicle, you could save a life.

Car Accident Injury Rehabilitation

Most people don’t understand how a small accident can cause injuries. It is real easy to understand if someone is in a head on collision or struck at a high speed. You have got to remember that this vehicle is large and even if you may be a large person, it is still a lot more mass that is slamming into you.

Recovery after a car accident can be slow. The soft tissue damage and alignment issues that occur after a car accident can take significant time to heal (months to years). Often times, victims go to their family doctor for pain medication but this normally only offers temporary relief. It has been found that regular chiropractic visits accelerate the process of healing. Soft tissue work, exercise and visiting your chiropractor to get your range of motion back along with rehabilitation of your body can you feel better both mentally and physically. Also, it is imparitive that you drink enough water, get enough rest and eat foods that are good for you to help you heal.

I was recently checking up on Tracy Morgan who was in a automobile accident and is suing Walmart for his injuries. This accident happened in August of 2014.  As of today, April 23, 2015, he is still recovering from his injuries and is not sure when he can get back to work in the entertainment business. Car accidents are dangerous and can show symptoms for years.  If you are in an accident, please get treatment as soon as possible. Waiting will only make the healing process harder since tissues harden and create scar tissue along with improper alignment which leads to bad body mechanics leading to symptoms.

We can help you heal from an accident and help you become healthy and vibrant again. Call our Redwood City Chiropractic office today at (650) 353-1133.

Can I Still Be Hurt after a car accident when there is little damage to my car?

In a study conducted by Charles Carroll, M.D., Paul McAtee, M.D. and Lee Riley, M.D. revealed that: “The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants.”

A vehicle weighs a ton and you are very small in comparison.  So even with little impact, just the weight of the mass can cause damage.  Think of being tackled on the street by a 200lb. person and you can imagine being hurt right?  Well, a car weighs way more than that and even though you are strapped in and have airbags, it is still a large mass that has slammed into you.  This causes damage.

Like I mentioned earlier, the damage to a car is different to the damage to a person.   Even though your body may work like a machine, it is not and it can lead to pain and issues with how your body works.  Even if there is no pain immediately, the impact can lead to pain later on.

Please give our Redwood City Chiropractic office a call at (650) 353-1133 so we can evaluate you using our technology that has been used by cardiologists and personal trainers on professional athletes and astronauts.  It tracks your body during your care and tells us how you are healing.

If I Have Seen A Medical Doctor After A Car Accident, Should I Still See A Chiropractor?

When visiting a medical doctor after an accident, they normally take vital signs and x-ray images to make sure there are no fractures.  They also do a brief exam to  make sure there are no life-threatening conditions.  Patients are usually released with pain medications and  they are not focusing on the long term effects that can occur after an accident.  Pain may go away temporarily, but come back if the problem is not taken care of.

Chiropractors treat the body and help it heal after an accident.  They then keep a close watch on your progress to try and prevent for future problems that may occur after an accident.  So, yes, you should see a chiropractor.  Find one that has the experience and equipment to track your body (even when you are not in pain anymore).

At our Redwood City Chiropractic office, we find out if there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with to prevent problems in the future and get you out of pain quickly and do the things you love to do.

Just think, you are hit by a vehicle that weighs a ton!  This highly effects your body and it can have some future problems if not rehabilitated properly.

Call Dr. Gregory today and set up an appointment, your body will be glad you did!

Psychotropic Drugs And Their Link To Car Crashes

In a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it states that:
  • People involved in car accidents are more likely to have taken psychotropic drugs for a period of days, weeks or months.
  • Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and newer insomnia drugs known as Z-drugs (including Sonata, Ambien, Imovane and Lunesta) all significantly raised car accident risk.
  • Researchers suggested physicians may want to warn their patients not to drive while taking such drugs.
  • A broken body can be easier to fix than a broken mind, but there are safer alternatives that can help address the underlying causes of mental illness without the use of potentially life-threatening psychotropic drugs

Psychotropic medications often used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia are mind-altering drugs.

That is, they impact your brain function and your psychomotor abilities – like your ability to drive a car.

You wouldn’t drive after consuming other mind-altering substances, like too much alcohol, yet presumably millions of people are driving everyday after taking varying dosages of psychotropic drugs.

Drugs prescribed for anxiety and insomnia known as benzodiazepines (Valium, etc.) have long been linked to an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, and now a new study has added even more widely consumed drugs into the mix – and shown they may seriously raise your crash risk, posing a risk to both the driver taking the drugs as well as their passengers and anyone who crosses their path.

Antidepressants, Insomnia Drugs, Antipsychotics Raise Car Accident Risk

People involved in car accidents are more likely to have taken psychotropic drugs for a period of days, weeks or months, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.1 Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and newer insomnia drugs known as Z-drugs (including Sonata, Ambien, Imovane and Lunesta) all significantly raised car accident risk.

The results were so striking that researchers suggested physicians may want to warn their patients not to drive while taking such drugs, and, as you might suspect, in many cases the higher the dose, the higher the risk became.

Researchers noted:

“This study contributes additional evidence… that psychotropic medications can constitute a considerable degree of danger to traffic safety… These findings underscore that subjects taking psychotropic medications should pay increased attention to their driving performance in order to prevent the occurrence of MVAs [motor vehicle accidents].

…Doctors and pharmacists should choose safer treatments, provide their patients with accurate information and consider advising them not to drive while taking certain psychotropic medications.”

Other Serious Risks Abound…

The decision to take any type of psychotropic medication should not be taken lightly, as they come with a slew of dangerous and potentially lethal side effects.

Benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium)

These drugs exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the same way as opioids (heroin) and some cannabinoids (cannabis) do. This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain. Since the identical brain “reward pathways” are used by both types of drugs, they can be equally addictive.

Older adults have a much more difficult time eliminating benzodiazepines and similar drugs from their bloodstreams. Over time, these drugs can accumulate in your body, which will increase your risk of an accidental overdose (and perhaps further impair your driving ability). Common side effects of this class of drugs, regardless of age, include:

  • Unsteady gait, and falling
  • Dizziness
  • Hip fractures
  • Drug induced or drug-worsened impairment of thinking, memory loss
  • Cancer and premature death

Antidepressants

Antidepressant use has been linked to thicker arteries, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Aside from potentially lethal cardiac events, other serious side effects include:

  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings and violent behavior: The primary side effect that you should be concerned about is that antidepressants can actually increase your risk of suicide.
  • Diabetes: Your risk for type 2 diabetes is two to three times higher if you take antidepressants.2 All types of antidepressants, including tricyclic and SSRIs, increase type 2 diabetes risk.
  • Problems with your immune system: Antidepressants cause serotonin to remain in your nerve junctions longer, interfering with immune cell signaling and T-cell growth.3
  • Stillbirth, birth defects, brittle bones and strokes have also been connected to antidepressant use.

Sleep drugs (insomnia drugs such as Sonata, Ambien, Imovane and Lunesta)

Research shows these drugs are linked to a nearly four-fold increase in the risk of premature death, along with increased cancer risks.  Plus, they are notorious for being addictive, which means that once you want to stop taking them, you’ll likely suffer withdrawal symptoms that could be far worse than the initial insomnia. Some, including Ambien, may also become less effective when taken for longer than two weeks.

Ambien may also make you want to eat while you’re asleep – and the sleep eating can include bizarre foods such as buttered cigarettes, salt sandwiches and raw bacon. Other bizarre side effects reported from various sleeping pills include:

  • Sleep walking and even sleep driving
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Complete amnesia from events, even those that took place during the day
  • Depression

Psychiatric Disorders Often Have an Underlying Cause

These powerful psychotropic, mind-altering drugs in no way, shape or form even begin to address the underlying cause of the mental conditions they are designed to treat. Unfortunately, psychiatric conditions are primarily believed to be the result of chemical dysfunction in your brain, or in some cases hereditary and therefore out of your control. Many fail to realize that:

  1. Your lifestyle can override genetic predispositions
  2. Your lifestyle can be a major underlying cause of that chemical imbalance or dysfunction

If you or your child is suffering from an emotional or mental challenge, please seek help, but do so from someone who does not regard psychotropic drugs as a first, or only, line of defense. Despite what the slick advertisements say, psychotropic drugs have no known measurable biological imbalances to correct – unlike other drugs that can measurably alter levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and so on. How can you medicate something that is not physically there?

The answer is, of course, you can’t – and doing so is a dangerous game.

Psychotropic drugs can actually interfere with your neurotransmitters in such a way as to upset the delicate processes within your brain needed to maintain homeostasis, leading to side effects that may resemble mental illness. Psychiatric disorders are very real, and they need real treatment, but it’s important to understand that drugs often fail miserably in making people feel better.

Studies continue to show, for instance, that antidepressant drugs are no more effective than a placebo, and in some caseless effective. A study published in the January 2010 issue of JAMA concluded there is little evidence that SSRIs (a popular group of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft) have any benefit to people with mild to moderate depression.4

Researchers stated:

“The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo… may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms.”

The situation is similar with sleeping pills. An analysis of studies financed by the National Institutes of Health found that sleeping pills like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata reduced the average time to go to sleep by just under 13 minutes compared with fake pills, while increasing total sleep time by just over 11 minutes – but, the participants believed they had slept longer, by up to one hour, when taking the pills.

When people wake up after taking sleeping pills, they may, in fact, simply forget that they had been unable to sleep! And taking sleeping pills is well known to impair your function the following day. So unlike getting a restful night’s sleep, which will leave you alert and refreshed, getting slightly more sleep (or what you think is more sleep) by taking a sleeping pill is not the same thing.

It can actually lead to a sleeping pill “hangover” that may cause confusion, sleepiness and increases in falls and, as noted, automobile accidents. So what we’re often seeing with the use of psychotropic medications is people pinning their hopes for relief from depression, anxiety or insomnia on drugs that may not work at all… and carry serious, potentially life-threatening, side effects.

References:  British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, volume 75, Issue 4, pages 1125-1133, April 2013