If you always wear your seat belt when you drive or ride in a motor vehicle, you have a decreased chance of dying or sustaining a serious injury in a car crash. You also comply with Georgia’s legal requirement for seat belt usage.
Even though your seat belt may save your life and help you avoid a costly ticket, it may also cause you to develop seat belt syndrome. Seat belt syndrome is the collective name for a host of injuries your car’s seat belt may cause. Among other injuries, those with seat belt syndrome often have organ damage, broken ribs and soft tissue injuries.
Your seat belt crosses your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other vital organs. When you decelerate rapidly in an automobile collision, your torso may push against the seat belt. If that happens with enough force, your internal organs are vulnerable to considerable damage.
Your ribs protect your critical systems from injuries. Nevertheless, the force of a car accident may cause your seat belt to break your ribs. Then, bone fragments may protrude into your heart, lungs or other organs. Even if you manage to avoid a life-threatening organ injury, broken rips are usually excruciatingly painful.
Soft tissue injuries
You have dozens of muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues in your midsection. While your car’s seat belt may hold you in place during an unexpected crash, it may also lead to bruising, sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries.
Because there is no standard test for seat belt syndrome, a doctor is likely to consider your symptoms when making a diagnosis. Nonetheless, if you suspect you have injuries to your organs, ribs or soft tissue, you should seek emergency medical treatment.