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A Walking Disaster: Are You Accident Prone?

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At this point in my life I can honestly say that I’m accident prone. If you got the chance to see my medical chart it showcases why that is.

Right now I’ve got two fractures in my left hand and over the past year dislocated two fingers, received seven sets of stitches, a fractured left ankle, six broken toes, four broken fingers, a concussion, multiple burns, bruises and fallen down the stairs 20 times.

I’m on a first name basis with the ER doctors at the local hospital. This isn’t something that is new it’s something that has gone on throughout my entire life. What’s sad is that when I’m doing something that could cause an injury my mother jokes “I’ll just call 911 and ask them to hold.”

What causes this?

There are several medical reasons for clumsiness such as lack of coordination, vertigo, fatigue, stress, anxiety, epilepsyParkinson’s Disease, attention deficit disorder, and brain tumors – just to name a few. Drugs and alcohol use can as well along with prescription drug interactions.

According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 accidental deaths every year. Unintentional injury is the fifth leading cause of death. Every year about 35 million Americans (about one out of nine) receive medical care for nonfatal accidental injuries.

For the first time, researchers have identified that one in 29 people have a 50 percent greater risk of being prone to accidents. The discovery came when researchers investigated accidents involving more than 147,000 people in 15 countries.

Ellen Visser, a psychiatrist at the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands, found that a certain group of people had personality traits that caused a greater chance of being involved in a calamity.

A belief of Visser is that accident proneness is actually a manifestation of self-destructive urges. These individuals engage in more high-risk behavior such as aggression, substance use, and have a higher prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders than the general population.

These individuals fall on a self-destruction continuum, between normal and those who intentionally injure or even commit suicide.

Accidents got caused by one of two problems – either lack of movement planning or impulsivity.  People who knock things over due to flailing can get trained to plan their movements through coordination programs such as swimming and martial arts like Tae Kwon Do.

Those who were impulsive and caused accidents their training involves slowing things down.

I know that I have an issue with depth perception and wearing glasses help decrease the accident risks. Also, been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and even if the task at hand requires me to pay close attention, injuries still happen.

It’s due to my unwillingness to now always follow the safety precautions, which means taking a risk and pushing beyond the limits.

Lessons that got learned: be aware of my surroundings, use safety equipment, take less risks, and take my time.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]com

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