Maximizing Your Medical Healing (Part 1)

Maximizing your medical healing after a vehicle-related accident is a team process. There are parts of the process that we at Medig will be responsible for, and then there are parts that you must actively participate in. Remaining passive and “expecting us to do all the work for you” will never lead to the best medical result possible.

The best possible medical result is obtained by not getting involved in a vehicle-related accident in the first place! While accidents are sometimes unavoidable due to the actions of the other driver, there are several things that you can do to avoid, or at least significantly decrease the likelihood of you being involved in an accident. Always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you (the standard recommendation is one car length for every ten miles per hour that you are travelling at). Also, switch lanes only when necessary. Prior to switching a lane, one has to either look in the rear or side mirrors or rotate your neck to make sure that the lane that you are wishing to turn into is clear. This means for a short period of time your eyes are no longer on the vehicle in front of you. If they stop suddenly, it is highly likely that you will rear-end them. Switching from lane to lane to “get ahead of the traffic” is a recipe for an accident, as each time you switch lanes the likelihood of another vehicle being in your “blind spot” increases significantly.

Also, avoid being a “distracted driver”. While your vehicle is moving, do not reach down to pick up food or a drink, change CD or radio station, check your emails or text messages (or even worse, write them) on your smart phone, or look at pedestrians or an accident that may have occurred at the side of the road. I have even seen people brush their teeth and put on makeup while driving. All of these activities lead you to not being able to focus on what is happening around, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. Always wear a helmet if you are riding a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle. While this may not be the law in all states, it is both foolish and selfish not to wear a helmet. Foolish, because it dramatically increases your likelihood of a life-threatening head injury, and selfish because you are highly likely to end up with an extremely large hospital bill that, even if you have insurance, you will have to a pay a significant portion yourself. The vast majority of people are unable to do so and thus the emergency rooms must “write it off”, which lead to them increasing their charges for other people who have insurance or adequate funds to pay their bills.

If finances permit, always buy a car that has front and side airbags and has the highest crash rating. While larger cars are generally safer than smaller cars, it is the way that the vehicle is built to protect the occupant that creates the highest safety for you. For example, the Mini Cooper, while a very small vehicle, has a very large amount of airbags and it built very safely (with “crumple zones” to absorb the impact so less of it affects you) and receives the highest crash rating designation, whereas cars that are much larger are not rated nearly as safe.

The rest of this topic will be completed in next month’s blog.

A Better Way to Get Better,
Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis, MD