There are 200 million vehicles in the U.S.
The chances of getting into a car accident are estimated to be more than 95 percent.
43,000 Americans are killed on our nations roadways every year and another 100,000 become permanently disabled due to car accidents.
There are many different things you can do to increase your chances of surviving after a car accident:
Wear your seatbelt: most deaths from auto accidents result from injuries sustained when the body is slammed against the steering wheel or dashboard. The beat keeps your body firmly in the seat.
Air Bags: air bags sense impact and sudden deceleration and inflate at a speed of 200 mph. Air bags have decreased the risk of dying during a front end collision by 30 percent. A child in the passenger seat should have his or her seat as far back as possible
Headrest: A properly adjusted headrest will eliminate whiplash.
Avoid items in the car: Anything loose laying around in the car can become deadly According to Newton’s law, when you stop abruptly, things in the car keep moving.
Vehicle Maintenance: Things on your vehicle should be regularly maintained and serviced. Pay special attention to the conditions of your brakes and tires.
Common Sense: Use common sense while driving. Don’t drive at crazy speeds or on the wrong side of the road and follow the traffic signs. Adjust to environmental conditions-you don’t need to go 60 mph in the pouring rain just because the speed limit allows you too.
Focus: Don’t text or talk on the phone while driving. Do not multitask while driving.
The Accident: Always focus on the road. Look for potential accidents and avoid them. Watch out for other cars around you, look out for pedestrians, and keep two cars lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. If all these efforts fail and the crash happens then you must respond in the best way possible:
- Brace your hands on the wheel in the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions to allow air bag to deploy without your hands being in the way. Put your head back against the headrest and relax your body.
- Try to slow your vehicle as much as possible. Braking: If you slam the brakes you will loose control. Slamming breaks causes your car to skid.
- Use the front of your car. Hitting head-on offers more protection.
- Steer smoothly. Don’t jerk the steering wheel. If you start to skid, turn the steering wheel in the direction you are skidding to regain control.
- Sometimes you may need to weave out of the way or out of range of an oncoming car.
Tire Blowouts: If you get a flat or blowout, do not slam on the brakes, let off the gas and let your car gradually slow down.
Post accident: If you are conscious, you want to exit the vehicle quickly. Remain calm. If you are stuck in the car and cant get out, stay conscious by telling yourself that you can endure and that help will arrive shortly. Even if its pain, feeling anything is a good sign because you are alive.
Courtley, C. (2012). SEAL survival guide: A Navy SEAL’s secrets to surviving any disaster. New York: Gallery Books.