Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Neck Pain and Whiplash

Whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles).  A doctor may use the more specific terms of cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury.  It is caused by an accidental motion or force applied to your neck which results in movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion.

The most frequent cause of whiplash is a car accident.  Surprisingly, the speed of the cars involved in the accident or the amount of physical damage to the car may not relate to the intensity of neck injury.  Speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can produce enough energy to cause whiplash to a passenger in your car, whether or not they are wearing a seat belt.

Neck pain, swelling, tenderness along the back of your neck, muscle spasms (on the side or back of neck), difficulty moving your neck around, headache, and pain shooting from your neck into either shoulder or arm are all signs and symptoms that may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury.  The sooner after the injury that symptoms develop, the greater the chance of serious damage.

To prevent whiplash you should always wear your seat belt and adjust your headrest to the proper height when driving.  The middle of the headrest should be even with the upper tips of your ears.  Seat belts with shoulder harnesses as well as headrests may not reduce the risk of whiplash but should be used in all motor vehicles because they reduce the risk of death and serious injury.

Most people recover completely from a whiplash injury in the first 12 weeks.  Others’ symptoms continue to improve over the course of a year.  You have a 40% chance of experiencing some symptoms after 3 months, and an 18% chance after 2 years.  A worse outcome has been reported in people with a more rotated or inclined head position at the time of impact injury.  The amount of time that elapses between injury and onset of your neck symptoms can predict the severity of injury and your prognosis.  A shorter time signifies a potentially severe injury with more frequent long-term complications.

It is important to understand that injuries pertaining to whiplash are often overlooked by juries because of the ability of such a low-impact or slow moving car to cause whiplash to a person in the vehicle who is wearing a seat belt. Ironically, studies show that seat belts actually increase the whiplash symptoms in lower impact crashes due to its catching you and throwing your body back while your head is still moving forward. If you are in an automobile accident, it is important to recognize the symptoms of whiplash as soon as they begin to occur and to receive treatment for your pain in order to better prove your case.


If you were involved in an accident in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us at (512) 343-2572, or fill in the form to the right.

Ford has developed an inflatable seat belt

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

People riding in the back seat of a vehicle are less likely to use a seat belt than front-seat passengers. Ford is hoping to change that with its new inflatable seat belt.

Their inflatables will first be offered on the next generation of the Ford Explorer. Sue Cischke, group vice president of sustainability, environmental and safety engineering, says those who have sampled them say inflatable belts feel less rigid and more comfortable.

Seat-belt use is about 10 percent lower for rear-seat passengers than front-seat passengers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford has been working on the inflatable since it was first shown as a concept in 2001. At the time, people were saying it couldn’t be done, while tests they were doing showed that it would be possible to do.

Among the technical problems, rear belts had to be much gentler than front air bags, which inflate with enough force to break out the instrument panel, then they release hot gas as they deflate. The new belts inflate with less force and deflate with cool gas, making them safer for passengers of all sizes.

The development team tested the belts when used with car seats, booster seats with high backs and booster seats with low backs. If the seat belt is not buckled, the system will not go off.

Ford says back-seat riders are often elderly and children. They believe this is the best way to enhance their safety.

7-year-old girl killed in collision in Travis County

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A 7-year-old girl riding in the back seat of an SUV died Tuesday night after the vehicle was struck from behind by a pickup at a stoplight on RM 620 at Comanche Trail, near Lake Travis.

Josefina Delgado was pronounced dead at the scene about 30 minutes after the 8:33 p.m. collision, Department of Public Safety spokesman Michael Chernivec said. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, he said. The drivers of both vehicles and two other passengers in the SUV were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, Chernivec said.

Chernivec said three people were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge: Josefina’s mother, also named Josefina Delgado, 45; Francisco Gutierres, 59, who was driving the SUV; and the driver of the pickup, Michael Winders, 40. Bertha Delgado, 15, and Leonicio Delgado, 11, were taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center, he said.

Gutierres’ SUV was westbound on RM 620, stopped at a red light, when it was struck by Winders’ westbound pickup, Chernivec said. Investigators on Wednesday continued to investigate the circumstances of the collision. No citations have been issued, and no charges have been filed, he said.

Burnet County deputy dies while heading to wreck

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A Burnet County sheriff’s deputy was killed early Saturday morning when his car veered off the road, possibly because he struck a deer, officials said.

About 1. a.m., Deputy Francis David Blake was responding to a wreck on Park Road 4, about two miles south of Texas 29, when he overcorrected and skidded off Texas 29, Department of Public Safety officials said. Blake’s vehicle struck a tree, went airborne, then struck another tree, DPS said.

Officials are still investigating the wreck that killed Blake, but say he might have veered off the road because
ha struck a deer. Blake was not wearing a seat belt.

Blake, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had worked at the sheriffs office since October 2004, starting out as a jailer before transferring to patrol work as a field deputy this year.

Blake is Survived by his wife, Tanya, and four children. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Burnet.

Victims in fatal collision identified

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

The Department of Public Safety has identified the victims in a head-on collision Thursday morning on U.S. 183 north of Lockhart, spokeswoman Tela Mange said.

Alison Barry, 31, of San Antonio was driving an Acura SUV northbound on U.S. 183 near FM 1185, authorities said. A Nissan Pathfinder driven by Bobby White Jr., 20, of Luling, was southbound, on 183 when his vehicle veered across two lanes of traffic into Barry’s northbound lane and the two vehicles collided.

Mange said Barry was wearing a seat belt, but White was not.

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

Starting next month, you better buckle up, even in the back seat

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Texas law already requires buckling up in the front seat, and starting September 1, it’ll be the law to do so in the back seat, too.

The change affects people 17 and older; those 16 and under are already required to wear a seat belt in the back seat.

Getting the measure passed into law was something of a bumpy. ride. that involved Austin’s state senator and police chief.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who is in his 24th year in law enforcement, said that years of seeing crash scenes in which seat belts made a critical difference inspired him to push the bill at the Capitol.

He said he was especially moved by a crash that happened in late April, after he’d begun lobbying for the measure. Round Rock High School student Raven Mayes, a member of the Marine Corps Junior ROTC and the Dragonettes Dance Team, died after the SUV she was riding in crashed into an 18-wheeler and rolled on Interstate 35. Mayes, riding in the back seat, was ejected, Acevedo said.

Statewide in 2008, 183 people, died — and 4,046 were injured — while riding without a seat belt in the back seat of a vehicle that crashed; according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

As of June 2008, 20 states and the District of Columbia required adults to use seat belts in all seats, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Offenders — drivers or passengers, depending on the situation — could be fined $25 to $50 if an adult is not buckled up in the back seat. Offenders can already be fined $100 to $200 if a child is not buckled up in the back seat.

Austin Man Killed in Wreck

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A man died Monday afternoon in Williamson County after a vehicle crossed into incoming traffic and collided with a pickup in which he was riding, a Texas Department of Public Safety official said.

Eric Aguillar, 42, of Austin, a passenger in Raymond Dale Griffith’s pickup died at the scene when Douglas Fabian Tarrance, 20, of Killeen tried to pass a northbound tractor-trailer that had stopped to turn left.

Tarrance drove into oncoming traffic and hit Griffith’s pickup truck.

Griffith was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening while Tarrance was taken to Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple in critical condition.

Both Tarrance and Aguillar were not wearing their seat belts.  A sad lesson in the importance of buckling up.