The hidden danger of seat belt injuries

You wouldn’t believe the irony we see by way of accident claims. From women slipping up on their own dog’s, erm, doings to well-catalogued incidents of burglars cutting their hands on glass they themselves have broken.

Okay, they’re not laugh-out-loud funny, but a wry smile brought on by divine justice sometimes cannot be avoided.

There are arguable cases of irony that are perhaps neither so funny and equally less avoidable. One of the main instances is injury from seat belts.

Thirty years of seat belt legislation

It’s been some years now since the seatbelt law was passed. Indeed, it celebrates three decades of legislation this year. It had its critics then (and some), but not so many no.

Seatbelts are a necessary evil. Indeed, the number of lives saved by seat belts is estimated at just under 10,000 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, not everyone walks away from an RTA praising seat belts for the injury they’ve saved.

Rather, for those who have suffered injury through wearing a seat belt, the pain is all to real. And we’re not talking a spurious whiplash injury.

Seat belt injury extends much further than just whiplash

Seat belt technology has come a long way since they were first introduced over 60 years ago. In the most modern vehicles, they are designed to disperse the force one would be subjected too at the moment of impact.

For a typical seatbelt wearer, injury to their ribs and hips, the places where the belt crosses the body are the most commonplace and less impactful on the victim’s life.

In the event of a larger RTA or if the seat belt isn’t being worn properly, “seat belt syndrome” can cause much more significant damage than a little bruising of the bone.

Ruptures or lacerations of internal organs where the belt passes across soft body tissue beneath the solar plexus are particularly nasty.

Soft tissue areas are most susceptible to seat belt injury

A layer of fat is no protection from the BHP of a supercar stopping suddenly or the collision at speed that engages the tough material.

All of the organs are susceptible, depending upon the circumstances of the crash. The liver and spleen can easily be lacerated in the right circumstances.

Likewise, your tummy, bowel and colon can all suffer lacerations, along with damage to the pancreas, spine and vascular injuries, too.

Seat belts go way beyond a simple whiplash claim. Although, for the good it’s suggested they do, there will be no immediate plans to change the law. Far too many lives are saved annually in comparison for that to be the case.

If you have suffered from the seat belt itself, or if it’s failed to work on impact, you can still consider an accident claim for the damage and inconvenience caused by such a traumatic event.

There’s no danger of the defence arguing that you shouldn’t have been wearing one and, in most cases, the injuries are serious enough to warrant a hospital visit, hence the medical reports will be on file already.

Yes, it’s ironic that the seat belts installed to save your life can end up causing you tremendous pain.

However, the consequences of not wearing one in an accident that could cause injury by default would be a lot worse for the individual had they not belted up before setting off.

As they used to say:

Clunk, Click, every trip

Sound advice, because wearing a seat belt could be the difference between a minor and major trauma in the event of a collision

Whiplash accident claims drive costs of insurance up

According to a recent report from one firm, whiplash accident claims are contributing to the rising costs of car insurance for UK motor vehicle operators.

While many other issues, such as fraud and frivolous car accident claims, are also a factor in the rising premiums for the 33 million-odd drivers in the UK, the insurance industry has been in such dire straits due to the prevalence of whiplash injuries and other serious claims that it has not turned a profit for over a decade and a half.

According to a Fitch Ratings report, for every £100 the insurance agency collects in premiums, £123 is paid out in traffic accident claims. This is most notably caused by not only fraudsters pulling the wool over insurers’ eyes but also whiplash claims brought by motorists through the aid of personal injury lawyers.

On an average £450 yearly insurance premium, according to one insurer, nearly £220 of the policy goes towards the costs incurred by paying out on fraud, whiplash claims, tax, and legal fees.  This amounts to nearly half of the entire premium.

There are several other factors at work that drive the cost of premiums for consumers.  As roughly 1 out of every 20 drivers operate without procuring cover for their vehicles, £30 are added to honest drivers’ premiums every year. Uninsured drivers have been determined to be 10 times more likely to have drink driving convictions on their record, and are 5 times likelier to have some involvement in traffic accidents, to have failed to comply with other requirements in regards to road traffic, and to have some level of engagement in other criminal activities.

Additionally while the maximum fine for being caught driving without insurance is £1,000, these uninsured drivers are more likely to merely be fined around £200 in the event of their being caught, which is substantially less than the average yearly insurance premium.

Whiplash-related injuries for accident victim in Twyford

Thanks to a four car traffic collision that occurred during rush hour in Twyford recently, one woman was left needing medical treatment for whiplash-related injuries.

The collision occurred just before 8 o’clock in the morning, which resulted in the female driver, aged 38 years, to report whiplash accident claims to her insurer.

The female motorist’s injuries were severe enough that she needed to have an ambulance called in order to be treated.

Three other cars were involved in the motor accident claim, which occurred near the Golden Cross at the A321 Waltham Road.  Following the traffic accident claim, Station Road was closed for the better part of an hour, only being re-opened at approximately ten minutes to nine.

Out of the three other cars that were involved in the collision, which included a silver Nissan and a black Honda, only the male driver of a red VW Polo faced being reported for driving carelessly.

In related news, Twyford Parish Council members have recently been discussing plans to make an accident blackspot more safe by altering a dangerous junction.

Plans, which included making an extension to a traffic island, introducing a slip road, or cutting speeds at the junction of the London Road and A4 Bath Road have all been cited as proposed ways that the Wokingham Borough Council could use to reduce the amount of accidents occuring at the junction.

The proposals were discussed by the Twyford Parish Council last month at a meeting.  The September 21 council meeting ended with an agreement on the Council’s part that measures to improve the junction must be taken.

Councillors at the meeting reported that the junction had been the location of several collisions; as many as eight traffic accidents had occurred at the location, according to some reports.