Driving is probably the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA, there are more than 30,000 deaths and over 2 million injuries from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. every year.Although you do your best to drive responsibly and defensively, its still smart to know what to do just in case you end up in a collision.
Crashes can be very scary, but here are some tips if one happens to you:Take some deep breaths to get calm. After a crash, a person may feel a wide range of emotions — shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, or anger — all of which are normal. But take a few deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one.
Keep yourself and others safe. If you cant get out of your car — or its not safe to try — keep your seatbelt fastened, turn on your hazard lights, then call 911 if possible and wait for help to arrive. If the collision seems to be minor, turn off your car and grab your emergency kit. If its safe to get out and move around your car, set up orange cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares around the crash site.
via What to Do After a Car Crash.
- Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident.
- If you are purchasing a new vehicle, be sure to note the standard and optional safety features, such as where and how many air bags come with the car. Research crash test results, and consider built-in monitoring services such as General Motors’ OnStar system. These can notify emergency personnel of an accident.
- If you have a cell phone, make any calls you need to make either in the privacy of your car, if you can, or away from any witnesses. Again, do not try to explain what happened to anyone on the phone, e.g. the tow truck driver. Just say, there has been an accident.
- Remain calm and above all remain silent. You will likely be disoriented and confused after a serious accident, even if think you’re uninjured. Many people will arrive at the scene of the accident and ask you “What happened?” You do not have to speak to anyone about what you think may have caused the accident. Above all, avoid saying anything that may incriminate you, such as “I’m sorry” or “I think it may have been speeding” etc. Such comments could end up causing you thousands of dollars.
- Write a list to yourself of what to do in case of an accident and keep it in your glove box. Read it and follow the instructions which you wrote to yourself.
- If you aren’t the one driving, in most, if not all cases, the middle back seat is the safest place to be, that is, with seatbelts. If the car crashes, you are in the middle seat and you are not wearing a seatbelt, you could be ejected from the vehicle, with fatal results.
- Be sure to exchange information with others involved in the accident and get information from eyewitnesses.
via 3 Ways to Survive a Car Accident – wikiHow.
People sitting in back seat should use safety belts for the same reasons they should use them in the front seat: to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in a crash. Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 44 percent among back-seat outboard occupants in passenger cars and 73 percent among back-seat outboard occupants of vans and SUVs. In a frontal crash, drivers and front-seat passengers are at increased risk of injury from unbelted back-seat passengers, and in a side-impact crash, passengers sitting adjacent to unbelted passengers are at increased risk of injury. Exposure to unbelted occupants increases the risk of injury or death to other occupants in the vehicle by 40 percent.
Unbuckled occupants “become a back-seat bullet” in a crash, says Pam Fischer, state highway traffic safety director. In collisions, experts say, unbelted passengers in the back seat continue to move at the same rate of speed as the vehicle they’re in until they hit something — seat back, dashboard, windshield or people in the front seat. Yet many view the back seat as somehow safer.
via States expand seat belt laws to cover rear-seat riders – USATODAY.com.