You may not be able to prevent accidents, but you can prepare for them in an effort to reduce the number of injuries you incur. Here are some of the ways you can reduce your risk of injury in car accidents.
1. Wear your seat belt (properly)
Seat belts are designed to protect, but only if they are strapped on properly. Make sure the chest strap runs diagonally across your body over your arms, and the lap strap runs across your lap (not over your abdomen.) Don’t forget to buckle babies and kids into their car seats properly as well! Should you get into any car accidents, a misplaced carseat strap can cause the tip of the baby’s sternum bone to break or crush internal organs in their abdomen. If it’s too loose, it can cause spinal damage. This is why the chest piece needs to be over their chest at armpit height, not over their midsection or abdomen. It should also be tightened until you can only slide one finger between their chest and the clip.
2. Sit upright
Did you know that how you ride in your vehicle can be the difference between getting injuries in a crash or not? Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, it’s important to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor of the car. Don’t curl up or put your feet underneath you or up on the dash. Airbags and seatbelts can actually injure you instead of protecting you if you are not sitting properly in your seat.
3. Pay attention to the road
This advice may sound like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised how many drivers text or video themselves while they drive! The more alert you are on the road, the better you will react to unexpected obstacles or dangerous drivers. This could significantly reduce your injuries! For example, you may be able to adjust your course at the last second and avoid a head-on collision.