We often discuss what to do after a car accident when it comes to dealing with insurance, collision repair, rental services and many other agents. While the financial and material aspects that follow an accident are something to be prepared for, keeping yourself safe from physical harm during the wreck itself is more important than anything.
Here are a few rules, tips, and tricks to keep yourself as safe as possible in the event of a car wreck.
Safety features on your vehicle are there to protect you. Use them!
Your car likely has tons of safety features installed by the manufacturer that are designed to keep you safe in the event of a crash. You should never allow the number of passengers in your car to exceed the number of seatbelts, and each passenger should wear one at all times. Failure to buckle up is not only against Louisiana law, it puts you at risk of being ejected from the vehicle in the event of a crash.
Other safety features in most vehicles include airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic skid protection, and stability control. These features should be checked regularly to ensure working condition.
Secure objects within the vehicle.
Many people involved in car accidents can become injured by the objects inside of their car. When the vehicle experiences the abrupt changes in force that come with collision with another object, the items in your car may remain in motion and become projectiles. Most objects are better off placed in the trunk of the car, rather than the back seat for this very reason.
Know how to brace for impact during an auto accident.
If getting into an accident becomes inevitable while you are driving, it is important to know how to prepare for impact. All vehicles will respond best to smooth braking and steering, so stomping the brakes and cutting a sharp turn on the wheel is never your best bet, even though it is the first instinct of most drivers.
Try to stay calm and avoid tensing up. Tightened musculature is easier to injure when introduced to outside force and can result in broken bones. If possible, avoid hitting stationery objects such as buildings or trees. Colliding with something strong and immovable will cause you and your vehicle to absorb most of force created from the impact. Side impacts should be avoided as well, due to the structural weakness of the side panels of your car and proximity to the driver or passengers.
Avoid secondary collisions.
If you have been involved in an accident, you should immediately move out of lanes of traffic if possible. Shut the car off and remain inside. Do not smoke, as gas or fumes may have leaked, and an open flame could cause a fire or explosion. Stay inside of the vehicle, administer first aid if necessary and call the police.
The best way to stay safe from car accidents is safe driving.
Safe driving is your best defense against car accidents. Avoid distractions like eating or cellphone usage while driving a car. Be mindful of traffic laws, signs, and speed limits, as these are all implemented to keep the roadways safe and accident free. Always be mindful of weather and road conditions, and never drive drunk or inebriated. Your motor skills and reaction time will be impaired, and you are putting yourself at serious risk of causing a collision if you choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of a controlled substance.
While Medines Collision is here to keep you safe from the insurance company and to get you back on the road after an accident, we believe that protecting yourself from physical harm is most important. If you have any questions about your vehicle’s safety features or how to use them, Medines is happy to help. Contact us today or visit our website for information about road safety and car accidents.