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

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.

Air Bags

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.

Distractions

Minimize distractions while you are driving. It has been scientifically proven that cell phone use while driving is an incredibly dangerous distraction. Turn your cell phone on silent while you are driving and put it in a location nearby such as your center console. This will minimize your temptation to respond to text messages and answer phone calls while driving. However, it is important to keep your cell phone within an arm’s reach in case of an emergency. Even small actions such as changing your radio station while driving can be dangerous. You should always keep your hands free and it is imperative that you keep your eyes on the road at all times.

How Safe is Your Vehicle?

If you are concerned about your car’s safety level, there are several methods that you can use to ensure that you have chosen the right vehicle for you. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled an ample amount of information to keep you well informed on the topic of car safety. On their website, www.nhtsa.gov, you can compare 5-star crash test ratings, find information on important safety equipment for your vehicle, view recalls and defects, and look over current laws and regulations. NHTSA also has a wide variety of other options which can help improve your understanding of auto safety. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is another tool that you can use to determine your automobile’s safety level. At their website, www.iihs.org, you can receive information on how well your vehicle protects its occupants in the case of an accident, as well as information regarding your vehicle’s crash avoidance and mitigation. Please browse over both of these websites in order to become more informed on the subject of automobile safety. This information can help protect you and your family in the unfortunate case of an accident.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (619) 295-3885. For your convenience, you can also schedule an appointment online.

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