The seat belts in your car, truck or SUV are some of its more effective safety features. Indeed, according to reporting from UAB Magazine, proper seat belt usage cuts your chances of dying in a motor vehicle accident by as much as 50%. They also help to reduce your risk of suffering a catastrophic injury on the road.
While seat belts do a good job at saving lives, they are far from perfect. In fact, even if your seat belt works flawlessly, it may cause you to suffer a serious injury. Belt-associated injuries are so common doctors have a name for them: seat belt syndrome.
A collective group of injuries
Unlike many other medical conditions, seat belt syndrome is not a specific ailment. Rather, it is the designation medical professionals give to a collection of seat-belt-related injuries. While some of these injuries may be minor, others can be serious or lead to severe complications.
Some common symptoms
The most common symptom of seat belt syndrome is a belt-shaped bruise that crosses the torso and waist. If you have midsection bruising after a car accident, you should go to the emergency room for a full workup. This is particularly true if your bruise comes with any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of sensation or movement
- Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea
- Dark-colored or bloody stools
- Insomnia or other changes in your sleeping habits
- Mood changes
Even though visiting the hospital for critical care after a car accident can be expensive, you simply cannot put a price tag on your overall health. Remember, you ultimately may be eligible for significant financial compensation for your seat belt syndrome and other accident-related injuries.