While wearing a seat belt can help you survive a car accident, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be injured in some way. Seat belts are designed to keep you in your seat during an accident so that you don’t get ejected from the vehicle. However, since seat belts restrain your body strongly, this strength may cause injuries on its own. It’s in your best interest to know about these injuries so that you can manage them as best as you can. To help you out, we thought it would be useful to put together an article discussing this subject. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we list down the five common seat belt injuries that you have to know about.
Contusions and Abrasions
Car accidents are dangerous and forceful. Seat belts are supposed to keep you safe, but in the process of keeping you from flying around inside your vehicle, they can cut into your skin. Your seat belt may jerk or pull on your body hard enough to make cuts and scrapes on your stomach or chest. Although unlikely, a seat belt could dig into your skin and cause serious bruising or abrasions on your neck or shoulder.
Bruised or Fractured Ribs
When your vehicle comes to an abrupt stop during an accident, it may be powerful enough to cause a seat belt malfunction, which can lead to broken ribs. This may happen by way of the “locking” functionality of the seat belt, which can become misaligned, causing the metal to press into your side. The locked position may also cause it to tighten and restrict your breathing.
The force of the accident may tear soft tissue in your shoulder since the seat belt pulls with extreme pressure on your shoulder. This can cause serious pain and discomfort in the shoulder region. Physical therapy may be needed to help your shoulder heal depending on how severe the injury is.
Chest and Sternum Injuries
The sternum, located in the middle of your chest, rest atop the ribs and protects the heart and lungs. If you’re operating a vehicle, your seat belt typically goes across your sternum: if a forceful impact occurs, the seat belt can cause serious injury to your sternum, potentially compromising your heart and lungs.
The seat belts in cars lock when there’s an impact strong enough to cause the car to veer or come to a stop, which can lead to soft tissue abdominal injuries. These are especially common with lap seat belts.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you recognize some of the most common injuries associated with seat belts. While these injuries may seem worrisome, you’ll be able to minimize the risk by wearing your seat belt correctly. Aside from proper seat belt use, you’ll also want to make sure to have your seat belts checked regularly as faulty seat belts can lead to some pretty nasty injuries.
To best protect yourself, you have to make sure that these safety devices are in good working condition. We here at SRS Restore specialize in seat belt replacement and seat belt repair. For any seat belt issues, don’t hesitate to contact us today!