We just had our first major snow and, while it's melting fairly well as you're receiving this, it sounds like some more snow is already coming in just a few days on Thanksgiving. I know a lot of you will be driving through this weather to get to family, so I thought I'd bring up a few tips for driving in these slippery and snowy conditions; both for how to avoid any accidents and what to do after if you do have one. After all, while you can improve your own driving safety, you can't improve that of those around you.
Some of the most important rules are to follow the everyday rules of the road more closely, such as wearing a seat belt every time you go out, looking and steering where you want to go, making sure your tires are properly inflated, and not driving when overly tired. As for driving on snow and ice:
Cars can basically only accelerate, turn, and brake. Limit yourself to only one of these at a time. That is to say, don't brake or accelerate while in the process or turning.
When braking or accelerating, do so slowly. Your vehicle is less likely to lose traction if you start slow to get some initial traction or if you brake gradually.
While not often followed, in dry conditions, drivers should maintain a distance of about 3-4 seconds between themselves and the vehicle ahead. On snow, this should be increased to almost 10 seconds.
Recognize that fancy safety equipment like anti-lock brakes or snow tires will never match up in safety to safe driving practices. While such extras make driving in snow even more safe, don't assume you can drive the same as in summer just because you have extra safety features.
If you actually get into an accident or take a fall on ice, it's important to get yourself checked by a chiropractor as soon as possible unless it's obvious you need medical attention first. If you need medical care rather than, or in addition to, chiropractic care, chiropractors will generally be able to refer you for the appropriate medical care. Unfortunately, a patient who can benefit from chiropractic care won't as often get referred by a medical doctor to a chiropractor. By getting a chiropractic check up right away even if you're feeling fine, you can also find out if there's hidden damage that could show itself later. If that happens, while stemming from the car accident, it may be discovered too late to prove that the accident was the cause, leaving you liable for your health care costs even if either your or their auto insurance would normally cover the injury if found immediately.
All of us here at Reinecke Chiropractic hope you have a safe holiday season and would certainly be happy to look after you if anything does go awry. Even if you have an injury that you'd thinking might have come on from an accident from earlier, we'll do our best to help you get back to your ideal health if you decide to come in and do something about it now. In fact, one study found that a disc bulge stemming from an auto accident could take up to 20 months before causing symptoms.
You can find more safety tips at the following websites:
And you can read about the aforementioned study of an injury not showing up for 20 months here