Well-Adjusted: Prepare for Rainy Driving
By Dr. Melanie Brown
Driving down Highway 26 near Welches, I am happy to see that some of the ruts have been repaired, and we will see fewer rooster tails shooting up from nearby cars this winter. It is scary how many times I have been temporarily blinded on 26! This year, with two teenage drivers, I am more keenly aware of the dangers of driving. With the rain comes an increase in car accidents, so now is a good time to be proactive and prepare for the season.
Prepare Your Vehicle.
Stop by Page’s Auto and have them check your tire tread and be sure you have the right tires for your vehicle, for your work and recreational commutes. Some prefer an all-season tire, and some like to have winter and summer tires that they swap out. Page’s will even store your tires if you choose the latter. Check that all your lights are functioning correctly and repair any chips or cracks in your windshield. Replace your windshield wipers every six to 12 months, and consider a product like Rain-X to ensure proper driving visibility.
Lose the Phone.
My dad used to drive and read the paper on the straight country roads on the way to our Minnesota lake cabin on the weekends. It was terrifying! Nowadays, texting and smartphones have caused countless crashes by distracted drivers. Be a good example for your kids, family, and friends, and don’t let them see you texting and driving. You don’t want to normalize a deadly habit. Silence your phone, use driving mode, or put it in the glove box or back seat if you have difficulty ignoring that “ping” while driving. In the age of “now,” we are too concerned about being readily available. Before cell phones, we had to wait until we got home to listen to our answering machine for a message. We can easily wait until we reach our destination to check our phones. Use your car’s navigation instead of your phone, or mount your phone to the dash if you use it for navigation so you can stay hands-free while driving.
In Oregon, drivers automatically carry $15,000 through their auto insurance toward medical care in the case of an automobile accident. This medical care is available whether you are at fault or not and is also open to pedestrians or cyclists injured by a motor vehicles. For a few dollars a month, you can increase your medical care to $100,000 per accident, which I highly recommend. If an ambulance or urgent care visit is required, often there is little benefit left over for therapies to help you heal and recover from your injuries, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, regenerative medicine, or, if injuries are extensive, even surgery. There is a reason this insurance is required: our bodies are not designed for these impacts; even at five mph, whiplash can occur in the neck and straighten the spine, setting the stage for degeneration and chronic pain. I have seen a trend where people almost always fix their cars but neglect their bodies.
Check “Under the Hood.”
Chiropractors are highly trained to help you recover from an auto accident and restore your spinal curve and muscle tone so you don’t end up with changes that can cause permanent pain and dysfunction in your body. Just like you should have an auto specialist look under the hood of your car, be sure to have a chiropractor do a complete evaluation of your spine and extremities and screen for concussion or brain injury after an auto accident. The relaxing and restorative treatments help you feel better in the moment and will ensure the best possible long-term outcome after an accident.