Every year, there are over six million car accidents in the US. Even worse is, over 38,000 people lose their lives in these crashes.
You’ll want to take quick action in a serious collision, as it can mean the difference between life and death. Learn what to do ahead of time so you can overcome panic, and save yourself and your passengers.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to survive a car crash and what you should do afterward.
Practice Safe Driving
How you drive and your vehicle’s conditions will affect your chances of surviving a serious crash. If you ask any personal injury lawyers, they’ll tell you that many car accident victims have survived because they wore their seat belts. So even if you find them annoying, always wear your seat belt when you’re in a moving vehicle.
You should take your car in for regular maintenance. If you notice anything out of place, then have it inspected and repaired promptly.
Before hitting the road, secure all potential projectiles. Your best bet is to store everything in the trunk so nothing can fly up and hit you in a collision. For everything else, use cargo covers and nets.
Lastly, have a first aid kit and auto survival tool kit in your car. That way, you won’t have to wait for emergency services to arrive and help you out if you’re in an accident. You can get out of the vehicle and to safety in crucial moments.
What to Do in a Car Crash
Every circumstance will be different, but there are small steps you can take during a car accident to increase your chances of survival and decrease injuries. The impact may happen so quickly that you can’t even take action, but here are some things to keep in mind.
Adjust Your Speed
The faster you’re going, the worse the consequences. If there’s nothing you can do but collide with another vehicle, then slow down as much as you can, even if the other car doesn’t.
However, there are some circumstances where it’s better to speed up. If your gut’s telling you that accelerating will get you out of harm’s way, then go for it.
Don’t Make Sudden Movements
With the above in mind, your first reaction may be to speed up or slow down as quickly as possible. But this can make things worse!
If you slam on your brakes or jerk your steering wheel, you might lose control of your vehicle. As a result, there’s no telling how or when it’ll come to a stop.
Utilize Your Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) System
All modern cars have ABS systems, so take advantage of yours.
Instead of slamming on the brakes in an emergency, press down on the pedal firmly. Hold it to activate the ABS system, and it’ll slow down your vehicle.
If the pedal vibrates, don’t worry. This is a sign that your ABS system is working!
For the best results, try to have your wheels pointed straight.
Turn With the Skid
It’s a big mistake to turn the steering wheel opposite of a skid. You’ll lose control of your vehicle.
It feels counterintuitive, but you should turn with the skid. Don’t brake or accelerate until you regain traction.
Drive in Your Normal Position
Your first instinct is to probably hunch over or duck to avoid debris from a crash. However, this can actually cause worse injuries.
It can be difficult to calm yourself enough to think straight but try to remain in your normal driving position. Airbags are designed to cushion passengers in regular sitting positions, so you’ll have the best chance of survival if you don’t curl up.
Also, hunching over puts you in closer proximity to the steering wheel and dashboard. This increases the chance of you suffering from bad head injuries.
Aim for the Least Damage Possible
Is impact unavoidable, and do you need to hit something to stop the vehicle? Then quickly assess your surroundings and aim for something that won’t seriously injure or kill you.
For example, crashing your car into some bushes is much better than hitting a concrete wall. And a collision with a concrete wall is still better than a head-on one with another vehicle, as these can be deadly.
What to Do After a Car Crash
The impact’s over and done with, but don’t relax just yet. Here’s what you need to do to ensure everyone’s safety.
Assess Everyone’s Condition
Check in with everyone and make sure they’re ok. Determine the extent of your injuries and give immediate first aid to those who need it.
If it seems like someone has a neck, back, or spinal cord injury, don’t move them. Movement can make the injuries worse and even cause paralysis.
Whether or not there are serious injuries, it’s crucial to call 911 ASAP, advise Jacksonville car accident attorneys. This will get emergency responders on the scene quickly. Not only can you receive medical attention, but the professionals can also clear the accident so the situation’s safer and traffic can resume.
Don’t Get Out Right Away
Believe it or not, your vehicle can be the safest place to be in some cases. So don’t get out immediately.
Survey the situation and decide if you need to or can even get outside. For example, if you have a bad neck injury and the accident is on the highway, then it’s best to stay inside. But if your car’s in the water or there’s a fire, get out right away.
If you’re remaining in the vehicle, then be mindful of possible gas leakage. Reduce the chance of fire by turning off your engine. Don’t smoke in or around your car either.
Stay Safe on the Road
We live in a society where we heavily rely on vehicles. So it’s only a matter of time until you’re involved in a crash.
It’s difficult to remain calm and know what to do when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation. But now that you know some useful tips, they should improve your chances of surviving any accident you’re in.
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