Nebraska sees thousands of car accidents every year and many of those accidents have serious consequences. Just in 2017, the Nebraska Department of Transportation reported there were 22,511 crashes that resulted in property damage, 12,278 that resulted in injury, 1,228 where victims were seriously injured, and 210 where fatalities occurred.
While being in a car crash is often a traumatic experience that happens in seconds, it can feel like it’s happening in slow motion. Knowing what to do for yourself and your passengers in a life-threatening situation can be crucial to everyone’s physical wellbeing after the event is over. Let’s take a look at the best ways to prevent injury during a crash.
Preventing Injuries as an Accident Occurs
In most cases, people are not prepared when an accident occurs. This is because the collision often comes out of nowhere and is over in a matter of seconds. If you are able to detect you will be in an accident, keep the following in mind.
- If you are the driver, keep your wrists straight and your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2.
- All occupants should keep their heads against the headrest, instead of leaning forward, to minimize the force of impact from the airbags in the event they deploy.
- If you are hit from behind, push your body back into the seat. This will help prevent whiplash.
- Drivers should try to keep control of their vehicles, to avoid colliding with other vehicles or objects.
- If a head-on collision is about to happen, drivers should do what they can to turn away from the oncoming object or vehicle. Always veer right, not left.
Preventing Injuries Through Preparation
While the tips above can help you reduce your chance of collision injuries, most instances do not allow drivers and occupants the chance to respond in time to avoid physical harm. Bracing yourself for an accident can be difficult because, most chances are, you’re not expecting to get into one. As such, there are a number of things that can be done before getting behind the wheel that will better aid in the prevention of accident injuries.
Take these preparation tips into consideration to reduce your chance of sustaining auto wreck injuries:
- Wear your seatbelt
- Ensure your seat and headrest are in the proper positions
- Store objects properly
- Make sure your vehicle is in working order
- Know where your vehicle’s airbags are located
- Drive responsibly and following all traffic laws
Protecting Passengers and Children During a Collision
If you passengers are adults, you can encourage them to wear their seatbelts and inform them of where the airbags are located in your vehicle. In the event of an accident, you could attempt to verbally reassure those in your vehicle and remember to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Infants and young children should be in a car seat that is designed for their height and weight. Infants, children under 35 to 40 pounds and below 32 to 35 inches tall, should be in a rear-facing seat. Once a child has outgrown their rear-facing seat, they can be moved into a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Once those weight and height guidelines have been exceeded, school-age children can sit in a booster seat. Older children should always have their seat belts on.
Car seats exist for a reason. Young children’s bodies are not big enough to withstand the force of a crash unless they are strapped in the proper restraint system. Check with your local law enforcement officials or pediatrician to ensure you have the proper system for your child.
Reducing the Risk of Further Injuries After a Wreck
If you’ve done all you can to prepare for an accident and have attempted to brace yourself during one, there are still more things you can do to reduce the risk of worsening any injuries you’ve sustained during a crash.
Immediately following the accident, assess your situation. Put your vehicle in park and turn off the engine. Take inventory of your body and surroundings. Look for any possible injuries and any situations that could turn hazardous, like leaking gasoline. If you can, get yourself and your passengers to a safe area. It’s best to contact emergency services after an accident. Even if you feel okay, injuries can take time to develop.
While the information above may help you reduce your risk of physical harm during a crash, it’s important to remember the best way to prevent injuries is to take measures before an accident happens.
Auto wrecks occur for a number of reasons; however, many times a negligent party can be identified. If you believe you’ve been in an accident that was caused by someone else’s poor driving decisions, you have the legal right to take measure to hold them accountable. Our lawyers can help you. To learn about your options and work towards seeking the compensation you need, reach out to us.