The ASIRT, or Association for Safe International Road Travel, reveals some staggering statistics about car accidents.
Almost 1.25 million people die because of car accidents per year (that’s 3,287 deaths a day). As well as that, 20-50 million more get injured or disabled. Traffic crashes are actually the 9th leading cause of death worldwide.
And if you’re young — 15 to 29 — the odds of dying in an accident are even higher.
If we don’t take action, car accidents may become the 5th leading cause of death by 2030. Considering that driving is up to us, it’s a statistic we’re in charge of ratifying.
Have you recently gotten involved in an accident on the road? Are you wondering how to overcome the trauma that inevitably comes with this event?
We try to make the car accident recovery process smoother. Here are 9 tips for healing.
1. Begin with Your Mental Health
Being the victim or guilty party of a car accident is a hard situation to deal with. Whether you’re injured or not, guilty or not, it can be traumatic. You’re left thinking about the other party — a stranger you now have an inexplicable link with.
So when it comes to healing, begin with your brain. This will have a direct effect on your mental and physical recovery.
Allow yourself the time to process and overcome this situation. If possible: keep up your routine, see friends and family, show up for work. Take care of your fragile self, starting with your mental state.
2. Rest, Rest, Rest!
Don’t rush into “getting back to normal.” Depending on the severity of your accident, it may take a long time. But patience is better than forcing yourself to do something your body’s not ready to do.
The stress can be both physical and mental. It can be a form of PTSD, anxiety, depression. Or it can be whiplash, bruises, or scars.
Accidents happen, and when they do, it disrupts our routine. But try to allow yourself space to breathe. Don’t overdo it in any area — you need the slack!
3. Cut Back on Physical Activity
The same idea applies here.
If you’re an athlete, you’ll need to take it slow in the days following your accident. You may not get used to it at first. But rushing it may have negative consequences, such as injuring yourself further or prolonging the current pain.
4. Get Regular Health Check-Ups
Some injuries don’t extend beyond bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Others are worse, from neck sprains to whiplash to surgery. And while some injuries reveal themselves right away, others take their time.
If you’re feeling pain, you’ll want to get inspected by a healthcare professional. You can see a chiropractor, visit your regular doctor, speak to a surgeon.
You’ll ultimately need medical records to prove anything in court regarding your accident. They can provide expert testimony to back up claims you may make with your case.
5. Treat the Pain
Besides rest — and OTC pain meds — how else can you treat pain from car accidents?
In some cases, it may be safe to do a simple form of stretching or yoga. Loosening up some of the tight muscles in your body. Consult with your physician before doing anything physical, though.
While resting, you can treat your injuries with both hot and cold treatments (hello, Icy Hot!). They’re easy, inexpensive, and can get done at home! This treatment relieves discomfort, heals damaged tissue, improves blood flow, and more.
6. Consider Physical Therapy
Depending on your injury, you may need a dose of PT with your TLC.
Physical therapy, like stretching or walking, keeps you active. It ensures your muscles don’t become stiff and inactive. That would only increase the odds of long-term injury or pain.
PT can relieve that stiffness and allow the movement to heal. It targets stiff bodies, helping patients recover while possibly avoiding surgery.
7. Make Yourself Some RICE
We’re kidding! But, some rice sounds good while you’re resting at home!
By RICE, what do we mean?
- R – Rest (there’s that word again!)
- I – Ice (and that one, too)
- C – Compression
- E – Elevation
This method is one that’s known to reduce swelling and pain. It should get started as soon as possible, and continued as long as pain continues. It ensures a more thorough healing process for anyone suffering from injuries or inflammation.
8. Perform Consistent Body Checks
As we mentioned before, not all injuries present themselves right away.
The initial adrenaline that comes from the shock will eventually reduce. This may or may not leave you in more pain than you realized to begin with. Check in with your body on a regular basis for the next few weeks.
This is another important time to keep track of your medical records. If something comes up, keep documentation of it. You may not feel pain right away, so let a doctor determine its source.
9. Take Your Time
What do many of these thoughts boil down to? Taking the necessary time needed to recover fully.
Don’t rush yourself. Let it happen as it’s supposed to while supporting yourself as well as possible in the meantime.
One of the worst things you can do when faced with an injury is to rush the healing processes. Give yourself time to grieve, evolve, recover, and heal.
Car Accident — but What About Car Accident Recovery?
There are many grappling statistics that touch on the problems with driving. Whether drunk, distracted, reckless, or even accidental — it’s all terrible, and all possible at a minute’s notice.
No matter how defensive you are, you may find yourself the victim (or guilty party) of an accident. And when you do, what are the steps to car accident recovery?
We hope we gave you a good idea of how to recuperate your old self.
And while you’re resting. . . Here are 3 more things everyone involved in a car accident needs to know!