Avoiding Whiplash | Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Picture of man who is texting while drivingFrom Hanukkah to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, the end of the year brings plenty of holiday travel. According to AAA, In 2011, over 83 million Americans were expected to travel by car during the holidays. As you can imagine, this makes for very congested roadways.

It’s natural to assume that you’ll make it to your holiday gatherings, and family events unharmed. But arriving at your destination safely isn’t something you can take for granted.

Thanksgiving Day 2012 in is a perfect example. An unexpected turn in weather in Texas lead to heavy fog and a massive 140 car pile up which resulted in 2 fatalities and 80 injuries. This demonstrate how deceptive holiday weather can be. Many people drive too fast or don’t recognize how bad road conditions are.

Here is the most important holiday travel tip: slow down when you’re driving and don’t tailgate other drivers. Even if it’s an unseasonably warm day there may be a frozen, slick spot on the road. In addition, salt on the roads can add to slippery conditions.

Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Rid your hood, windows, head lights and tail lights of snow and dirt before traveling – Snow buildup on your car can cause problems for other drivers when it melts. Other drivers may have a hard time seeing because of the flying snow.

No cell phone use while driving – Although you may think you can talk on the phone and drive, the distraction is dangerous. Your attention should be on the road at all times. If you’re lost, pull over and make your call.

Wear your seat belt at all times-In some areas not wearing a seat belt is a fineable offense, but that’s not the only reason you should buckle up.. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, research found that seat belts saved over 12,500 lives in 2010. On Thanksgiving 2010, 337 car passengers were killed in traffic crashes across the U.S. and over half of them were not wearing a seat belt at the time, according to AAA.

Auto Accidents can cause long term pain and injury

You’re at high risk of whiplash during a car accident. When you suffer any kind of impact, your neck may be jerked back and forth. This can result in damage to the muscles, ligaments, and the neck’s normal curvature.
You may have a whiplash injury if within 24 hours of the incident you experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Neck stiffness
  • Neck pain
  • Blurred vision

If you are in a auto accident during the holiday season—or at any other time— treatment for whiplash is essential to prevent long term pain and injury. Without proper whiplash treatment, the neck’s normal curvature could be destroyed. You may lose normal range of motion and find it difficult to turn your neck. If left untreated, whiplash can also lead to degenerative changes and arthritis.

Chiropractic care is a safe, effective treatment for whiplash. Our Garland Chiropractors may pair chiropractic treatment with hot laser therapy, spinal decompression and massage therapy to further enhance the healing benefits.

Keep the holidays full of excitement and joy; take extra caution when driving and follow our safe driving tips. If you do find yourself involved in a collision our Garland Chiropractors, Dr. James Mixon and Dr. Patrick Ware can help you feel better fast.

Contact us to to schedule an appointment.