Plastic and metal claw clips – hair clips with prongs on both sides that come together to hold the hair –are a popular choice of hair accessory among women. Unfortunately, most people do not realize the potential dangers of wearing a claw clip while driving or riding in a car. Car accidents involving claw clips have led to serious head, skull, neck and spine injuries in women who have worn them. Keep yourself safe by avoiding this mistake.
Claw Clips Can Cause Serious Head Injuries in a Car Accident
Wearing a claw clip in the car could potentially cause head, scalp and skull injuries in an accident. The inertia or motion caused by a motor vehicle accident can send the head and neck forcefully backward into the headrest of a vehicle’s seat. The claw clip can result in the head being forced back onto the pointy hair-grabbing teeth of the clip rather than the soft and supportive headrest. This can cause serious injuries to the back of the head.
The prongs of the claw clip could cause painful scalp lacerations or even become embedded or lodged in the tissues of the head. In some cases, women have had to have claw clips surgically removed by medical professionals after automobile accidents. They have also had to receive sutures or staples for claw clip lacerations. Although there are no known cases of claw clips penetrating the skull and causing brain injuries, this may be a possibility in a severe car accident.
Neck and Back Injuries From Claw Clips
Motor vehicle seats, along with seat belts and airbags, are designed to work most effectively in preventing back and spine injuries, such as spinal fractures and slipped disks, when a victim’s body is properly aligned. This includes having nothing in between a person’s head and the seat’s headrest, which is engineered to counteract injury to the cervical spine (e.g., whiplash in a rear-end collision) when used correctly.
A claw clip can interfere with the correct ergonomics of a vehicle seat in a car accident, potentially inflicting neck, back and spinal cord injuries that otherwise would have been prevented. Improper head and neck alignment due to the shape of the hair clip preventing the head from making proper contact with the headrest can result in serious spine injuries, including fractures and dislocations, from incorrect positioning.
Alternatives to Claw Clips While Driving
Keep yourself as safe as possible by avoiding claw clips while driving or riding in a car. Use something softer to put your hair up, instead, when needed. Otherwise, remember to remove your claw clip – and any other potentially dangerous hard or sharp hair accessories – before driving. Keep soft scrunchies or hair ties in your vehicle for a convenient alternative while you drive.
If you have to wear a hair clip, opt for a round, flexible clip rather than the long straight type. This could help prevent serious injuries caused by the unyielding clip in the event of a car accident. If you have a female teen driver, teach her about the dangers of wearing a claw clip in the car. Opting for an alternative can prevent serious injuries.