Automobile Safety & Tips
Always wear your seat belt
Regardless of how uncomfortable your seat belt is, it is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment which will protect you in the unfortunate case of a car accident. Seat belts should never be placed under the arm or behind the back to increase comfortability. This will severely decrease its effectiveness and increase your likelihood of receiving a serious injury. Always wear your seat belt properly with the shoulder harness across your shoulder. The lower, horizontal belt should rest on your pelvis.
Head restraints are the most important piece of safety equipment when it comes to preventing whiplash. Make sure that your headrest is as close to your head as possible. It is not safe to recline your seat too far back because this will increase the distance between your head and the headrest. This causes your head to snap back further than if the head restraints were in their proper position, increasing your likelihood of injury. The top of the headrest should match up with the top of your cranium.
You should never rely solely on your airbags to protect you in the case of an automotive accident. In fact, if you are not careful, airbags can sometimes do more harm than good. Airbags can deploy at incredibly high speeds of up to 200mph. Be sure to keep your hands, arms, and other body parts away from the airbag cover to avoid injury. It is also imperative that you sit with your sternum at least ten inches away from the steering wheel. Sitting any closer than this puts you at risk of being hit by the deploying airbag.
Bracing Yourself for Impact
If you know you are going to be rear-ended, there are some preventative measures that you can take to decrease your chances of becoming severely injured. In order to prevent whiplash, shrug your shoulders to minimize neck movement. Also, tilt your head slightly backward and place your palms flat against the steering wheel. Gripping the steering wheel will increase your chances of receiving a serious injury. It is also imperative that you look straight forward and press on the brake firmly. Although these tips will not ensure that you walk away completely uninjured, they will decrease your risk of receiving a serious injury.