When you watch a horrific car crash on TV or on YouTube, you're probably wondering how anyone could ever survive an accident that seems so devastating. You can see the occupants getting thrown around, shattered glass and debris flying around. Is it possible to survive such a traumatic event? The answer is complicated.
While there are no guarantees on whether you will actually live through such a crash, there is always the hope that you could survive. Aside from the hope and prayer, there are things you can do, steps you could actually take every time you drive or get into a car, take actions that could potentially stack the odds in your favor should you be involved in one of those horrific crashes you see on the screen. Here are some of those steps you can take to give yourself a better chance at survival.
Buckle up. The first layer of protection in a car crash is your seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 50 percent of all car accident fatalities could be prevented with the proper use of seatbelts. While we don't have exact numbers on how many people don't wear them or how many do not wear them correctly, we know that number is pretty high.
Remember, your seatbelt serves no purpose if you're not wearing it right. Make sure your seatbelt fits snugly. When a crash occurs at a high speed, even a little bit of movement because of the slack could lead to injuries such as broken bones. Be sure to sit right with the seat and steering wheel adjusted properly.
Don't leave loose stuff in your car. That's because, in the event of a car accident, these could become projectiles and injure you pretty badly. According to a study conducted by UC Irvine and Intel, on average, vehicles have about four potential hazardous loose objects. This could be your computer or your pet. In a crash, these harmless things turn into flying objects and they could become fatal weapons. The best way to prevent such injuries is to secure all of your things in your trunk when it cannot get to you. If you must keep it in the vehicle compartment, be sure it's secured with a seatbelt. It is best to keep your pets restrained as well.
Do not duck or brace. This will cause you to get out of the safety zone created by safety devices in the vehicle such as the seat restraint and airbag. You could also run the risk of breaking your arms or legs or put your arms in the way of your airbag, which could lead to more injuries. If you are in the middle of the crash, the best thing to do might be to do nothing and let the crash run its course. Trying to “do something” might just result in more injuries.
Keep a few survival tools handy. You may want to keep useful tools in your vehicle at all times where you can access them such as a pocket knife that can cut your seatbelt. A fire extinguisher is also a good idea. But, be sure to have it securely bolted so it doesn't become a lethal flying object. Your vehicle should also have a comprehensive first-aid kit at all times. Your cell phone, of course, could be extremely valuable. Call 911 as soon as you are safe to get help for those injured.
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If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a car crash, contact an experienced Orange County car accident attorney who will help protect your legal rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.