As the saying goes, ‘accidents do happen’. In the blink of an eye, you can find yourself in a treacherous situation while behind the wheel, and a car crash may be unavoidable.
However, there are some instances in which you can see an accident in the making, and how you react could prevent or reduce the risk of serious injury, or even save a life. Accident victims have reported that just before the actual moment of impact, the world seems to be moving in slow motion – they feel helpless and unable to avoid the crash. Yet attentive drivers who are focused on the road and not distracted by their cell phones, another passenger or simply daydreaming can actually act quickly enough to minimize the severity of impact.
Your first course of action when you get in your car is to be sure you and all of your passengers are safely buckled in your seat belts. You will not have time to reach for your belt in the case of an impending crash, and besides, it’s the law. Also, you may not realize that if you are in an accident and you suffer an injury, your efforts to recover monetary damages from another driver may be reduced if it is discovered that you or your passengers were not buckled up. The excuses that they are too uncomfortable, you’re just running a short errand or that they may wrinkle your clothes just don’t make sense when it comes to saving a life. You should also be aware of exactly where the air bags are located in your car. Knowing where they are if and when they deploy can reduce the shock of them inflating upon impact.
Experts also recommend placing all unsecured objects in your vehicle in a safe place, to avoid the risk of them becoming projectiles in a crash. Books, CD’s and things like children’s games should be placed under the front seat. If you have heavy objects in your trunk, tether them down to avoid them sliding violently forward towards the passenger compartment during a collision. This is especially true if your car has rear seats that fold down.
While on the road, always remain a safe distance behind the vehicles in front of you. Studies have shown that aggressive driving, tailgating or just becoming distracted from the conditions around you are responsible for a large proportion of motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true if you are driving in rainy weather conditions, traveling towards bright sunlight or other circumstances that may cause reduced visibility.
If you feel you are about to be involved in a collision, it is recommended that you do notfocus on the accident itself. While that may sound difficult, skilled drivers will immediately assess the situation, and concentrate on avoiding the collision. Check your options for steering away from the impending impact – are there any escape or avoidance options you can take? Is the lane next to you clear to allow you to move over? Perhaps there is a safe road shoulder or grassy median to target in order to avoid what is happening ahead of you. The time you take to enact these corrective measures could save your life.
You may find yourself in a situation where the vehicle behind you is bearing down on you, and you need to be prepared for a rear-end collision. These types of accidents account for one-third of all motor vehicle accidents, and can result in severe neck, back and spinal cord injuries. The majority of drivers do not have their vehicle seat headrests adjusted properly. These accessories can be a critical factor in reducing whiplash and back injuries, and they should be adjusted so that they reduce the amount of space your head can travel backwards on impact. The more space between your head and the seat’s headrest, the greater your risk for a potential serious injury during a rear-end impact to your vehicle.
If you see a car in your rear view mirror that is bearing down on your car or hear the screeching of tires coming from a car behind you, there are some preventative reactions you can take to reduce your chance of injury. Tensing of your muscles in your arms and legs will reduce the risk of ligament and muscle injury. Your foot should be on the brake pedal – this will not only assist with tensing your leg muscles, but could avoid the risk of your car being thrust into a busy intersection or into the car in front of you. Your head should actually be against the headrest, if possible. This will reduce the effect of your head being thrown backwards, striking the headrest upon impact, and then forwards after the crash.
Personal injury attorney Scot D. Goldberg, founding partner of the Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone law firm in Fort Myers, has seen an alarming number of serious injury cases caused by a tragic car crash. “Anything you can do to reduce the potential risk of an injury in an accident could mean the difference between life and death”, says Goldberg. “Being vigilant and focused on your surroundings while behind the wheel, and using the proper safety precautions, could prevent a life-altering crash.”
If you have suffered an injury caused by a motor vehicle accident, our expert trial attorneys will vigorously fight for your legal rights, and are backed by years of car crash litigation expertise. To learn more, contact us at 239-461-5508, or email us atwww.goldberg-law.com.