Connect With Us: 
Call Now (503) 439-9494
Auto Safety Tips

Auto Safety Tips

A Car Accident Can Happen to You

Almost everyone will be involved in a motor vehicle collision within their lifetime. Despite rigorous rules on driving, there is little public education on how to avoid injury during a car accident. Positioning of hands, fingers, seatbelts and headrests all play an important role in our safety. Here at Walker Road Chiropractic in Beaverton we strive to educate our patients to help them avoid as much injury as possible. Here are a few guidelines to help you stay safe on the road.

Choosing a Safe Vehicle

The first thing you should look for in a new car is a 5 star safety rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program’s 5 star rating indicates that less than 10% of collisions will result in serious injuries. However, it needs to be understood that not all 5 Star safety rated cars are created equal. Cars are only tested against vehicles of similar weight and size. So a 5 star safety rated SUV will most likely be safer than a 5 star safety rated subcompact.

So in general, the bigger the car the safer you will be, but size is not everything. SUVs are large but more likely to roll while pick-up trucks typically have poor handling. Additional features like antilock brakes and all-wheel drive give the driver more control during an active collision. Knowing these things can help you make sure you make an educated decision in the purchase of your next vehicle.

Head Rests and Whiplash

Man with Auto Injury needs Chiropractic care

Headrests are designed for more than just a place to relax. Each year about 3 million people suffer from whiplash from hyper extension injuries. Half of these are left with chronic symptoms and nearly 10% are permanently disabled. Many of these injuries are easily avoidable with proper headrest positioning. Proper placement of your headrest is often much higher than you would think. The safest position for headrest to sit is to have it as high as the top of your head. Another factor to consider is the distance between you and the headrest. The further away you are, the more likely you are to suffer from a whiplash injury. Proper positioning of the headrest helps to prevent hyper extension and damage to the neck.


It may seem like common sense but always wear your seatbelt!  Wearing your seatbelt is the number one thing to keep you safe during a car crash. Even relatively low speed crashes can lead to severe injury and fatalities. To put it another way, a crash at 25mph without a seatbelt is equivalent to falling to the ground from the third floor. Wearing your seatbelt can more than double your chances of survival in a crash. Not only is it essential that you wear it, but proper positioning is also very important. Your seatbelt should be placed across your hips and pelvis while the harness goes across your shoulder. Not only will this placement protect you during a crash, it will also help to prevent seatbelt related injuries.


Airbags are an additional safety feature in modern vehicles. As a Supplemental Restraint System, they are designed to work with your seatbelt to keep you safe. It is important to know that airbags alone are not as effective as a seatbelt in the event of a collision. Using the belt and airbag together offers you the best protection in a car crash.

Here are some things to consider to best utilize this safety feature effectively:

  • Always wear a seatbelt correctly and sit in an upright position.
  • Sit as far back from the steering wheel and dashboard as possible to avoid possible injury. Individuals who sit within 10 inches of their steering wheel, typically those below 5’4”, are at risk for sternal injuries due to the speed of the airbag deploying.
  • Make sure to keep your hands in the 9 and 3 o’clock positions or lower to avoid wrist and hand injuries.
  • Keep your thumbs on the outer rim of the steering wheel.
  • Never allow children to sit in the front seat. Airbags are designed for adult frames and not the delicate bodies of children.

Children in Cars

children in car

Children should always be belted when in a motor vehicle. Not only is it the responsibility of the driver to make sure children remain buckled, it’s the law. For infants, it is important the baby be placed in a rear facing car seat. This allows even distribution of force along their undeveloped spine in the event of a car crash. Having even distribution is very important as infants and toddlers have cartilaginous spines that are very easily injured. When a child reaches two to three years of age and begins outgrowing their rear facing seat they can be placed in a forward facing car seat. At this point in time the most delicate portions of the spine have developed enough to help reduce the chances of injury. Once children outgrow their car seat, moving them to a booster is the best way to keep them safe until they are at least ten years old. Proper care for your child’s spine is not a matter of personal choice rather it is based on research and science. Here you can find out more National Best Practice Recommendations.

Bracing for Impact

A common misconception is that bracing for impact will lead to more injury. Research has actually shown that individuals who are aware and brace for the impending collision are less likely to be injured and have better long term outcomes. This is because we have many nerves, discs and ligaments throughout the neck that can easily be protected by the surrounding muscles. When you brace, these muscles take off much of the force that would otherwise be distributed throughout the other more fragile structures. Muscles heal much easier and faster than the ligament, nerves and discs.

To prepare for a collision:

  • Shrug your shoulders with your head pushed back into the headrest to limit neck motion and help to prevent hyperextension.
  • Have your hands firmly in the 9 and 3 o’clock position.
  • Press your foot firmly against the brake and push your upper body back against the seat.

If you have been in a recent car accident call Walker Road Chiropractic located in Beaverton, OR. to get the care that you deserve! 

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Ready to participate more fully in life?

Resolve long-standing discomfort and regain your physical freedom.

Call Today

(503) 439-9494
(503) 645-4404
15220 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Suite 260,
Beaverton, OR. 97006

Click for Map

Contact Us Today!

Call, email, or stop by today. We'd love to see you!

Ready to participate more fully in life? Resolve long-standing discomfort and regain your physical freedom. Scheduling is most effectively done through the phone or email during business hours. Every effort will be made to return your contact as soon as possible.

We bill Auto Insurance (PIP) and Health insurance (Excluding Worker’s Comp and OHP/Medicaid). Give us a call. We’ll gladly make a courtesy check of your insurance benefits.

Participating Provider chiro health

Schedule an Appointment!