Wearing your seat belt is arguably the most effective way to survive a motor vehicle accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt usage cuts a driver’s chances of suffering a fatal injury by as much as half.
Seat belts work by holding drivers firmly in place as their vehicles decelerate rapidly during car accidents. When your body presses up against a locked seat belt, though, you may suffer some superficial injuries. Indeed, it is not uncommon for accident survivors to have belt-shaped bruises across their torsos.
Bruises may be nothing to worry about
If you have a bruise on your midsection after an accident, you should not panic. After all, these bruises are often only skin-deep and go away on their own in a week or two. Unless you have additional symptoms, it may be ok to take a wait-and-see approach to your bruised torso.
Bruises can indicate something more serious
Even though your torso bruise may be superficial, it also could indicate something more serious. If you have a midsection bruise plus any of the following, you should seek immediate medical care:
- Loss of motion
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Changes to your sleep patterns
You can take control of your health
It can be difficult for a layperson to tell the difference between a normal bruise and a potentially serious ailment, of course. Ultimately, to put your mind at ease, it is advisable to go to the emergency room for a physical examination after any car accident.