September 9, 2019 A public safety campaign by the Tulsa Police Department is focused on preventing car accidents and the potentially serious injuries that can result. Among the most common types of injuries suffered in a crash are those impacting the back and neck. Taking some simple precautions can help minimize the risks. Keeping Tulsa Roads Safe According to the Tulsa Department of Health, the end of summer weekend is one of the busiest times for drunk driving-related crashes. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance is one of the leading causes of car accidents in our area and throughout the state. When crashes do occur, they often leave victims suffering whiplash and other potentially debilitating back and spine injuries. Every year during the weeks before and after the Labor Day holiday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partners with local and state law enforcement officials in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. The holiday traditionally has one of the highest rates for crashes and collisions. In nearly half of these cases, alcohol is a contributing factor. In addition to targeting drivers suspected of DUI, Tulsa law enforcement officers will also be on the alert for people engaged in speeding, running red lights, distracted driving, and other potentially dangerous behaviors. Back and Neck Injuries Caused by Car Accidents Officials urge all drivers to follow traffic rules and regulations while using defensive driving skills behind the wheel. When car accidents do occur, victims should make a point of getting immediate medical care. Even relatively minor car accidents can leave victims suffering serious back and neck injuries. “Any type of sudden jolt or blow, such as often occurs in a car crash, can cause serious damage to the bones, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues that make up the spine,” says Dr. Jason Sparks of Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa. “Even when the victim experiences no immediate symptoms, back and neck injuries may exist and become more painful over time.” To prevent impacts that could affect your health and financial security for years to come, seek help from an experienced medical provider and adhere to their instructions regarding diagnostic testing, treatment, and follow up care. Not doing so could cause potentially serious complications. “Without proper medical treatment, whiplash, pulled muscles, herniated discs, and other types of back injuries can easily end up resulting in chronic pain and long term disabilities,” says Dr. Sparks.