No one wants to get into a car accident. Sadly, car accidents claim the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. Accidents also cause numerous injuries and impact millions of lives.
None of us can plan or prepare for a car accident. We do our best to drive safely and try to avoid potential hazards. Yet, there are some things that we can do as drivers to increase our chances of surviving if a car accident does happen. Take a look at these tips from a Douglasville car accident attorney:
1. Sit Back Away from the Steering Wheel
You may be tempted while driving to scoot your body forward toward the steering wheel. For shorter drivers, this is a way of getting a better viewpoint. But sitting too close to the steering wheel can actually be dangerous if you are involved in a car accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends drivers sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. This distance allows the airbags to fully deploy before your body makes contact with it. If you make contact with the airbag before it is deployed, you could be injured by the force.
2. Always Wear Your Seat Belt
One of the best ways to protect yourself and improve your chances of surviving a car accident is to wear your seat belt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that seat belts can reduce the risk of death in car accidents by as much as 45%. Make sure that drivers and passengers are properly buckled up. Also, make sure that car seats and booster seats are installed properly and are properly secured in seat belts.
3. Maintain Equipment in Good Working Order
Your car has equipment that is designed for safety, such as the tires, brakes, airbags, and other features. Make sure that this equipment is properly maintained and is always in good working order. Proper maintenance on your vehicle could be the difference between life or death.
4. Drive Within the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Reducing your speed and driving within the speed limit can reduce the chances of a catastrophic impact if an accident occurs. Consequently, that reduces the risk of you suffering fatal injuries in an accident. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the more force you will experience if you strike an object or are brought to a sudden stop.
5. Remain Calm While Driving
One of the factors that often leads to car accidents being more serious than they could have been is driver panic. When drivers panic, they make quick movements and reactions that can make a pending accident worse. For example, if you jerk your steering wheel hard in one direction, you may roll over your vehicle. If you stay calm, you may be able to steer around the hazard or at least avoid rolling over.
6. Subscribe to Emergency Services
If you have a newer vehicle with onboard emergency services, make sure you subscribe to them. These services can detect that a car accident has occurred and will automatically dispatch emergency services. Other services allow you to call 911 at the touch of a button, or by saying a certain phrase out loud. This can make a tremendous difference in the amount of time it takes for emergency personnel to reach you.
No one wants to think about dying in a car accident, but it is a reality for millions of families each year. Do your part to protect yourself and others by following the steps above. If you also get into a car accident while you're on vacation or in an unfamiliar town or city you can also check here the 5 steps to take after a car accident on vacation.