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Trauma Prevention Tips

Prevention is the best way to avoid trauma injuries. There are many myths about safety, especially when it comes to automobiles. Always practice safe driving and wear your seat belt.

Myth #1: Seat belts are uncomfortable and restricting
Truth: The belt's ratchet system allows adaptation of the belt's height to promote comfort. A minor, temporary discomfort is far better than injuries to the head, chest, abdomen or limbs.

Myth #2: I don't need the belt if I'm only going a short distance.
Truth: More than 80 percent of motor vehicle collisions occur at speeds less than 40 mph and within 25 miles from home.

Myth #3: I don't want to be trapped in the care in case of fire or water.
Truth: Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all collisions involve fire or submersion. The seat belt/shoulder strap helps prevent head injuries, enabling you to remain conscious and facilitate extrication from the vehicle.

Myth #4: It's better to be thrown clear of the crash.
Truth: The chances of death are four times greater with ejection than staying in the vehicle.

Myth #5: I'm a good driver; I'll be careful.
Truth: Good driving skills are wonderful but no one can control the other driver's actions. Good drivers are injured and killed far too frequently.

Practicing good safety habits, including wearing shoulder straps and seat belts, will help keep you safe from injuries.

Sources: South Dakota Highway Patrol, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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