Can Seat Belts Cause Injuries During A Car Accident?

A Bit of Seat Belt History First

Did you know seat belts existed even before modern cars had taken to the roads? Surprised?

A seat belt is no modern invention. In the olden days, horse-drawn carriages used seat belts to keep their passengers safe.

And, this safety device continues to save lives and be your best defense against serious injury at the time of a car crash. Since their introduction in 1973, seat belts have reduced the numbers of fatal injuries by 50%.

Modern cars come equipped with several safety gadgets, but seat belts have stood the test of time. They are still the most effective safety device your car can have.

Can Seat Belts Cause Injury?

Statistics over the years have revealed how seat belts have saved lives and people from severe injury during road accidents. But what also needs to be understood is that while seat belts save lives, if not worn or used correctly they can even cause injuries.

A three-point seat belt or harness helps secure passengers’ torso to the car seat. From one end it rests on the shoulders and chest, and from the other supports the lower abdomen near the hip.

At the time of a crash, the seat belt works to transfer the force of impact into the passenger, and during this time the attachment points of seat belt become the site of trauma. The type of seat belt injury a car accident victim will sustain depends on the direction and force of impact during a crash.

To understand how seat belt injuries are caused, let’s first try and understand what happens during a car accident. At the time of a collision, when your vehicle hits another car or object the impact may cause it to stop, but as the passenger in the car your body remains in movement at the previous speed.

What this does is that the moment your vehicle crashes it stops, but your body which is still in movement can violently come in contact with any object inside the vehicle. You could hit the steering wheel, windshield, or the dashboard at the time of crash.

At such a time the seat belt saves you from being seriously injured by holding you in place the entire time. Seat belt injuries result due to the impact of the crash. A big impact could injure areas where your seat belt is restraining you.

Types Of Seat Belt Injuries

Let’s find out the areas that are more vulnerable to seat belt injury during a car accident and what types of injuries are commonly seen.

Rib Injury–The direction and impact of the collision could cause your ribs to become bruised from the seat belt across your chest. Since bruised ribs are as painful as fractured ribs, do not delay getting evaluated by an accident doctor immediately after the crash. As a home remedy you can ice the bruised area and rest as much as possible.

Chest Injury–The part of the seat belt that sits across your chest and sternum could injure your chest and sternal region during a crash. The violent jolt to your body during a collision could hurt your chest or affect the sternum due to the belt lying against it. Any injury to your sternum could also affect the internal organs in that area. Seek prompt medical attention if your chest feels sore. An immediate evaluation helps rule out any serious injury.

Shoulder Injury–The force during a car crash can cause injuries to the soft tissues in your shoulder, especially in the area where the seat belt restraints are placed. The impact could lead to torn tendons and injured muscles. The inflammation in the area can be initially handled by icing the injured site. But only an immediate evaluation by a car accident chiropractor will help rule out the probability of you having sustained any serious injury.

Lower Back Injury–The lap belt portion of your seat belt can cause trauma to your lower spine, that is, the lumbar region. If you experience pain radiating down your lower extremities, it is a sign of lumbar spine injury. Sciatica too can result from lumbar spine trauma. Any muscle weakness or numbness and tingling also indicates injury of the lumbar spine.

Get Chiropractic Help Immediately

While it’s true that seat belts can cause injury during a car accident, they are also largely responsible for preventing more severe and serious injury during a crash. A lot of situational forces are at play during a collision, and studies done over the years have consistently proven that though seat belts can cause some harm, they have saved precious lives.

The best option you have after being involved in a car crash is to get prompt accident injury treatment for your seat belt trauma. Do not wait it out. Those pains and soreness may be pointing to something more severe than what your self-diagnosis tells you. If not treated on time your seat belt injuries can turn serious.

Get yourself to a car accident chiropractor who can guide you towards natural and holistic healing. Taking pain killers may seem more practical but they will really only mask your pain. Chiropractic healing takes a more natural approach that is free of any prescription drugs and invasive procedures or surgeries.

To know more about what options you have to treat your car accident injuries, you may speak to our chiropractic experts by calling 305-928-2828 at any of the accident injury treatment centers in Florida. You can also visit: for further details.

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