30 May How to Prevent Injuries in a Car Accident
Summer road trip season is coming up. The last thing you need while on vacation with your family is to get injured in a car crash. No one anticipates getting into an accident, but according to Driver Knowledge, 6 million car crashes occur in the US every year. These accidents injure 3 million people, 2 million of whom are permanently injured.
Driving safely is a crucial step to avoid accidents in the first place, but you can’t control the behavior of other drivers. That’s why you should take precautions to prevent injuries in case you find yourself in a car accident.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Failing to wear a seat belt makes you 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash. As a result, your risk of injury or death goes up by 45 to 50 percent. With these statistics in mind, it may stun you to learn that one in seven people don’t wear their seat belt while driving or riding in the car. It’s the simplest step you can take to prevent injuries if you get in an accident.
Of course, merely fastening your seat belt may not be enough if you’re wearing it incorrectly. Follow these tips to get the most from your seat belt:
- Make sure the belt isn’t twisted, which can cause severe bruising in a high-speed accident.
- Wear your seat belt over one shoulder rather than tucking it under your arm or behind your back. If it digs into your neck, adjust the height of the seat belt anchor.
- Adjust the lap portion of the seat belt to sit low on your hips rather than going over your abdomen.
Re-Position Your Seat
As the driver, make sure you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel before you start driving. If you bend and twist to adjust your seat while driving, and you happen to get in an accident right then, you could be more seriously injured.
If you’re in the front passenger seat, scoot back as far as possible to increase the distance between your body and the dashboard. If the airbag goes off in an accident, you’re more likely to be injured if the seat is positioned too far forward.
Then, both the driver and passenger should adjust the seat back to the most upright position possible without feeling uncomfortable. Traveling in a reclined position increases the risk of injury.
Finally, adjust the headrests on all seats. These are important safety devices that help reduce whiplash in rear-end collisions. Your head should make contact with the center of the headrest when you sit back in your seat. Adjust the height if necessary to ensure this is the case before you start driving.
Sit Up Straight
With your seat adjusted properly, sit so your back is flat against the seat. Then, if you’re the passenger, keep both feet flat on the floor. As the driver, your left foot should be on the floor (or on the clutch pedal in the case of a manual vehicle) while your right foot manages the gas and brake pedals.
Why does your posture matter? Every car has safety features designed to prevent injuries, but only if you’re sitting up straight. If you lean sideways against the window or put your feet up on the dashboard, the airbags designed to protect you could cause serious injury. In this way, good posture could mean the difference between minor and severe injuries in a crash.
Adjust the Steering Wheel
Before you hit the road, take one final step to prevent injuries in a car accident: adjust the steering wheel. Most cars have the option to raise, lower, and tilt the wheel to customize the angle to your height. Point the wheel at your chest rather than your face. This way, if the airbag goes off, it ejects toward your rib cage rather than your head.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has some excellent safe driving tips you can reference. In addition to being safe behind the wheel, you should also pay attention to what’s going on around you. Unfortunately, drunk and distracted drivers can show up out of nowhere, and you must react quickly to avoid an accident. Always remain focused and ready to get out of the way at the first sign of a reckless driver.
Treat & Prevent Injuries at Mile High Spine & Pain Center
Sometimes, your efforts to prevent injuries aren’t enough. If you are the victim of a recent car accident, visit Mile High Spine & Pain Center in Broomfield for the treatment you need. Our auto injury clinic can assess the impact of your accident, treat your injury, and provide medical records as proof for your insurance company. Our services can help speed up the recovery process and ensure your neck and back heal correctly after this spinal trauma.
To learn more about our auto injury treatments in the Broomfield and Westminster area, please contact us at (720) 507-0080 and schedule a free consultation today.