Every time we get in a vehicle, there’s a chance that we’re going to experience an accident. After all, despite recent innovations that have resulted in heightened vehicle safety, accidents still happen.
It may surprise you to learn that — even with this sense of inevitability — there are things you can do to make it more likely you’ll be able to walk away from a car accident.
While we all know it’s a good idea to wear our seat belts and avoid driving distracted, there are more specific ways we can reduce our chance of injury. Consider incorporating these safety strategies into your normal driving routine!
Lower Your Risk of Injury in a Car Crash with These Five Tips
Car crash injuries can result in anything from relatively mild sprains to whiplash-induced paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. Want to reduce your chances of sustaining the more serious of these injuries? Here are some safety practices to think about:
- Slow Down. It’s no shock that speeding is dangerous. However, when you’re in the moment, it’s easy to forget the specific connection between our MPH and our practical ability to protect ourselves. For example, as we speed, we experience reduced peripheral vision. When we speed, our reaction time vanishes, and our braking distance gets much longer. Perhaps because of this trifecta of speed-related handicaps, slowing even a little does help. According to one source, for every 1MPH reduction in speed, there’s a 6% decrease in traffic fatalities.
- Brace Yourself. It isn’t always possible to anticipate a crash, but if you have a split second to react, prepare as well as you can. Face straight ahead, press your body and head back into your seat and headrest, keep your wrists flat, and grip the steering wheel. Sitting in this position may help distribute (and dissipate) the impact of the crash, instead of concentrating the blow on one part of your body.
- Consider Your Seat’s Position. While properly-working airbags can mean the difference between life and death in a crash, they can cause injury, too. You should position your seat so you’re sitting as far away from your airbags as possible (while comfortably being able to drive). That way, you’ll be better poised to benefit from your airbag without risking specific airbag burns or impact injuries.
- Limit Passengers. Did you know that the back seat of the car is no longer considered safer than the front? There are many reasons this can be the case, from the absence of back seat airbags to lower-quality seatbelts installed in the back seat. The front passenger seat can also be deadly, as most drivers will subconsciously swerve to protect themselves in the seconds before an accident. In addition, passengers can serve as distractions, particularly for younger drivers.
- Read Your Car’s Manual. This step isn’t often considered a vital one, but it’s a good idea to have an accurate, updated understanding of the way your car works. Think of it this way: In an emergency setting, your processing capability is going to be overloaded. In that scenario, you don’t need the added confusion of interpreting indicators on your dashboard — or figuring out how to defrost your windshield as quickly as possible. Instead, take time before you’re in a life-threatening situation to get to know your car as well as you can. Knowledge is power, particularly when you’re in a stressful driving situation.
Call Chicago’s Cullotta Bravo Law Group if You Have Been In an Auto Accident
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident, you need to work with experts to make sure that you’re moving forward in the best way possible. Even if you were lucky enough to avoid serious injury by bracing yourself or being aware of your car’s settings and controls, you need to make sure that you’re protecting yourself after the accident, as well.
Getting yourself checked out for invisible injuries, pursuing treatment for shock, and getting your car itself inspected are all actions that may help you recover after a traumatic event.
The Cullotta Bravo Law Group is here to assist with personal injury, auto accidents, and more. Contact our team today by giving us a call at (630) 898-7800, or reach out online for further assistance.