There are millions of car accidents every year. Because car accidents occur so frequently, it’s very likely that you may be involved in at least one at some point in your life. Car accidents can vary in severity, but even a low speed and low impact car crash could lead to serious injuries. For this reason, the best way to protect yourself is to learn how to avoid injuries in auto accidents. Follow these tips so you are prepared in the event of a car crash:
Wear Seat Belts
Numerous studies have shown that wearing a seat belt can greatly reduce the risk of serious injuries in a car crash. But, if you are wearing your seat belt incorrectly at the time of the accident, it’s possible that the belt won’t be as effective.
Before hitting the road, check your seat belt to ensure it is properly fastened. Tug on the belt to make sure that it is securely in place. It shouldn’t be so tight that it cuts into your skin, but it also shouldn’t be too loose. Make sure that the seat belt is not twisted, either. If you are in an accident, a twisted seat belt can often do more harm than good.
Adjust the lap portion of the seat belt so the belt sits as low as possible across your hips. This positioning is ideal because it allows the pelvic bone to absorb the impact of the crash in order to prevent more serious internal injuries. This is an important rule that every passenger should follow—especially those who are pregnant. Many pregnant women make the mistake of wearing the seat belt across their abdomens instead of low on their hips. If a pregnant woman who is improperly wearing her seat belt is involved in an accident, the seat belt could apply a significant amount of pressure to the abdomen, which could injure the baby.
Next, check the positioning of the shoulder belt. Even though it may be more comfortable, do not place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
This part of the seat belt should run across the middle of your chest and then go over your shoulder. If necessary, adjust the height of the seat belt anchor so you can reposition the shoulder seat belt. This positioning ensures that the strongest bones in your upper abdomen absorb the impact of the crash so your vital organs are not harmed.
As you can see, simply wearing a seat belt will not provide you with protection in a crash if you are not wearing it correctly. Following these tips is imperative if you want to minimize your injuries in a crash.
Adjust the Seat
Another thing that needs to be re-positioned for your safety is the car seat. First and foremost, adjust your seat so it is as far away from the airbags as possible. The closer that you are to the airbags, the more seriously you could be injured by these safety devices if you are involved in an accident. Of course, you will need to be able to comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel if you are the driver, and this should be your priority. Be sure to rock forward and backward in the seat before you start driving to double check that it is locked in position.
Next, adjust the positioning of the back of the seat. It’s important for both drivers and passengers to be sitting upright if they want to avoid injuries in a crash. Once the back of the seat has been adjusted, sit as far back as possible in the seat so your back is flat against the seat.
Every passenger in the vehicle will also need to adjust their headrest before driving. Ideally, the back of your head should make contact with the center of the headrest when you sit back in your seat. If this is not the case, make adjustments to reduce the risk of sustaining whiplash and head injuries in a crash.
Sit Up Properly
Be sure to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor whenever you’re inside a vehicle, regardless of whether you are the driver or a passenger. Why does your posture matter? Every car is designed with safety features such as air bags and seat belts. But, these safety features are designed to protect people who are sitting up properly. If someone is hunched over in their seat or laying back with their feet up on the dashboard, the safety features will not be as effective. Therefore, people who are not sitting up properly are more likely to get seriously injured than those who are sitting up straight. In fact, a good posture could be the difference between life and death in a car accident.
Move the Steering Wheel
Drivers should also remember to adjust the steering wheel before turning on the vehicle and hitting the road. Sit in the driver’s seat to determine if the steering wheel is pointing at your chest or face. If it’s pointed at your face, the wheel needs to be adjusted so that it is pointed at your chest instead. This is necessary because the airbag is most effective when the steering wheel is pointed directly at the driver’s chest.
Pay Attention To The Road
Perhaps the easiest tip and most obvious yet least practiced is paying attention to the road. While not all accidents can be avoided, your chances of being involved in an accident when distracted behind the wheel are exponentially higher than if you are focused on your driving.
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of these tips, it’s possible that you could still sustain injuries in an accident. Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover compensation from the at-fault party for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.