The stats show that roughly 1.35 million people die in road accidents each year. What’s more, a further 20-50 million suffer injuries each year. Although non-fatal, these road crash injuries can be incredibly severe.
One of the scary things about road accidents is you can’t control the actions of other drivers. However, you can control your own.
Besides driving carefully, there are also a number of other actions you can take that will significantly protect you and any passengers from potential car accident injuries.
Although you might not be able to prevent injuries completely, if you implement these tips, you will be increasing safety levels in your car tenfold.
Want to protect yourself and those that drive with you from the danger of serious car accident injuries? Keep reading as we share with you the top tips for lessening the severity of common car accident injuries.
You’ve heard it a thousand times, but it’s true. Seat belts save lives. By holding you in your seat during impact, seat belts can help prevent serious and common car accident injuries such as broken bones, internal damage, brain trauma, and more.
Research estimates that unbelted drivers have ten times the risk of sustaining injuries than belted drivers.
This means that every time you put on your seat belt, you are decreasing your risk of injury by 90%.
However, there’s more to it than simply jamming the buckle in.
When you buckle up, you should always do the following:
- Tug on the buckle to ensure that it’s secured clicked into place
- Push the seat belt as low as you can across your hips (this allows your hips to handle the impact, rather than your internal organs)
- Make sure that the seat belt is running across your chest not sagging over your stomach or running across your throat area
Take note that if you are pregnant, you should take extra care that your seat belt is running across your hips and not your stomach. Positioning the seat belt across your stomach can increase the risk of fetal injuries in collisions.
Besides these routine buckle up habits, you should also ensure that your seat belt holder is sitting at the right height (so that your belt runs securely across your chest) and that the belt is neither too tight nor too loose.
Stick to the Speed Limit
According to the WHO, speed is a key risk factor in car accident injuries.
We all know that speeding is dangerous, but many of us don’t think thank stepping on the gas to get to school dropoff on time or to that meeting is really speeding. After all, what is the big difference between say 20 mph and 30?
Well, it turns out that for roughly every 1-mile increase in speed, there is a 6% increased risk of an accident involving injuries.
This means that if you are going 10 miles over the speed limit, you have increased the risk of an accident and injuries by 60%.
When presented like this, getting to that appointment 3 minutes earlier in exchange for a little mild speeding doesn’t seem all that smart.
Adjust Your Seat
Did you know that the closer your torso is to the steering wheel, the worse injuries you can sustain? Because of this, it’s a good idea to position your seat as far away from the steering wheel as possible.
Of course, you still need to be able to drive comfortably and safely, so don’t push it too far back. Just make sure that your seat is giving you the maximum amount of distance from the steering wheel, without impacting your ability to drive.
When adjusting your seat, you should also ensure that the headrest is at the correct level for your height. Optimally the center of the back of your head should line up with the center of the headrest.
Sit up Straight
Another simple way to lessen the severity of common car accident injuries is to sit up straight in your seat.
The reason for this is that car safety functions such as seat belts and airbags are designed to protect you while sitting in an upright position. If you’re slouched backward or leaning on the steering wheel, this will make both of these features less effective.
The same goes for if you’re a passenger and are, for instance, sitting cross-legged or with your feet up on the dash. Positions like these compromise the functionality of seat belt and airbag systems and can increase the chance of injuries such as whiplash, concussion, broken bones, and internal bleeding.
Adjust Your Steering Wheel
To reduce the chance of a head-related car accident injury, your steering wheel should always point towards your chest. If it’s pointed at your face, take the time to adjust it downwards.
You should aim to mentally take note of the angle of your steering wheel each time you get into the driver’s seat.
Keep Car Clutter to a Minimum
Clutter in one’s car, such as cellphones, flasks, sports equipment, glass bottles, chargers, and other items, can be dangerous and contribute to the risk of sustaining a car accident injury.
This is because, when an accident occurs, the impact can send objects within the car violently flying. If they are hard or heavy, they can cause injuries such as bruises, concussions, and more.
Lock Your Doors
Another best practice is to always lock your door when driving. During accidents like t-bones collisions, impacts can cause your door to swing open. This opens up the risk of you falling out of the vehicle during the crash and sustaining further injuries.
Locking your door also lowers the risk of it swinging open while driving due to not being shut properly.
Keep Your Car Well Maintained
Lastly, to minimize the chance of accidents and injuries, ensure that your vehicle is well maintained. Break failures, engine failures, and wheel and tire issues can all raise the risks of having an unforeseen accident happen on the motorway.
Have You Sustained Car Accident Injuries?
Every time we hit the roads, we all run the risk of experiencing an accident. However, by implementing these best practices, you can work to minimize the severity of potential car accident injuries.
Have you been in an accident recently? Or would you like to know who to call if one does occur?
If so, you should know that a reliable car accident injury lawyer is waiting to serve you here at Sweet Law. Dedicated to helping our clients, we can assist you with successfully navigating the legal implications of car accidents such as personal injury and property damage claims.
Call us now to get the assistance you need.