In a multi-vehicle accident, some people may walk away with minor injuries even if others have sustained serious injuries. While many factors determine the extent of injuries in an auto accident, you also have a role to play as the driver. Here are a few measures you can take to reduce the extent of injuries in potential accidents.
Fasten Your Seat Belt
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts could reduce the risk of injuries and death by half; as such, seat belts save thousands of lives each year. With a fastened seat belt, you are unlikely to be thrown from the car during an accident. Without a seat belt, even if the impact doesn’t eject you from the car, the crash can still toss you around inside the car.
Thus, seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to minimize injuries in auto accidents. Fasten your seat belt even for the shortest drives because an accident can occur at any time.
Maintain Your Car
In an auto accident, a poorly maintained car will cause you more serious injuries than a well-maintained car. Wear and tear or damages reduce the level of protection you get from various parts of the car.
For example, the windshield is an integral part of your car’s safety system. The windshield keeps you inside the car and also contributes to the overall structural integrity of the car. Therefore, a cracked or poorly installed windshield may cause the car to crumble during an accident, which may intensify your injuries.
Obey Speed Limits
In an auto crash, the momentum of the cars is one of the factors in the extent of the damage and injuries. A high-momentum car is likely to cause more serious injuries than a low-momentum crash. The weight and speed of the car determine the momentum at the time of the crash. You cannot reduce the car’s weight, but you can reduce your speed to minimize injuries in a crash.
Drive a Safe Car
Modern cars have multiple safety features to keep drivers, motorists, and pedestrians safe. Get a car with the best safety features you can afford and use the safety features. Some of the safety features include airbags, seat belts, crash sensors, headrests, and crumple zones, among others.
The more recent your car model, the more likely it is to have safety features. You can also use car safety ratings from NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to help you pick a safe car.
Adjust the Steering Wheel and Seat
During a crash, the steering wheel and airbag can give you a nasty knock on the face if you hadn’t adjusted them properly. The airbag offers maximum protection only if the steering wheel points at your chest. Therefore, adjust the steering wheel and seat to point the airbag at your chest whenever you drive.
Sit Up Properly
How you sit behind the wheel also influences the injuries you might sustain in a crash. Car manufacturers design their cars and their safety features to offer maximum protection for drivers who sit upright with their feet flat on the floor, back against the seat, and head against the headrest.
For example, if your head is above the headrest, you may suffer a whiplash injury since your head won’t have any support during the impact. Your risk of leg fractures also increases if your feet are not firmly on the floor during the impact.
Despite your best efforts to avoid injuries, you might not come out of a serious auto accident unscathed. If that happens to you, let Wells and McElwee, P.C., help you pursue the damages you deserve. Contact us for a free initial consultation to determine how to tackle your case.