car accident, car crash, car

Getting behind the wheel is a major responsibility that no driver should take for granted as they get onto the open road. While driving around for years can certainly make a normal drive feel like you are just going through the motions, that can all be ended if an accident occurs. Even small car accidents can have major injuries resulting from them, which is why understanding how to survive being involved in an accident is so important.

How Many People Die Annually from Car Accidents?

Globally, there are around 1.3 million deaths from car accidents that occur on a yearly basis. In just the United States alone, there are around 43,000 deaths per year on average, compared to around 5 million total accidents. The majority of these deaths, both worldwide and in the U.S., are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. These figures have only been increasing all around, which is why learning how to survive a wreck is so important.

6 Tips for Increasing the Survivability of a Wreck

Staying safe in a car accident can be challenging, depending on the cause of the accident. For example, a car accident resulting from a DUI often happens at high speed, which negatively impacts the survivability of the accident. Despite this, utilizing the following six tips can still help anybody increase the odds of their survival:

Always buckle up before leaving

The mantra of “seatbelts save lives” is not simply a myth. Seatbelts stop a person from flying around the cabin of the vehicle or out of the vehicle if a wreck occurs, which can have a large effect on saving your life when an accident does occur. Always double-check that you are buckled up before leaving and that everybody in your car is buckled up as well.

Don’t sit up against your steering wheel

For those who are shorter than others, sitting up closer to the steering wheel may seem ideal for seeing more of the road. However, this can put you in a deadlier position if a car accident occurs. Rather than doing this, position your seat higher, rather than closer, to the wheel so that you can see when driving on the road.

Take care of preventative maintenance on your vehicle

One major leading cause of car accidents on the road is mechanical breakdowns on the road. When one car breaks down suddenly at a high rate of speed, it can lead to a collision with vehicles behind that car. To avoid this, it’s important to tackle preventative maintenance, which involves handling routine tasks, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake checks, on a regular basis to ensure your vehicle is in working order.

Remain calm following the immediate event

Being involved in a car accident can be a jarring experience regardless of whether the accident was small or large. Rather than reacting with chaos and immediately getting out of your vehicle to freak out, opt to stay calm. While this serves the purpose of keeping you level-headed, it also might just save your life. There could be internal injuries you are unaware of following an accident, and sudden chaotic movements could trigger a reaction that leads to your death.

Aim for the object that will cause the least damage

Assuming you have suffered a mechanical breakdown or have been shoved off the road due to an accident, always try to stay in control of your vehicle. If total control of your vehicle is lost, attempt to steer your vehicle toward the object that will cause the least damage. For example, if you are on the freeway and see water barrels, as opposed to a metal guardrail, attempt to hit the barrels with your vehicle instead. Reducing the impact of a collision will have a major effect on whether or not you are safe following your accident.

Stay in your normal driving position

Finally, keep in mind that your vehicle is designed to protect you when you are in a driving position with your hands on the wheel and sitting upright. It is not designed to protect a person who is hunkering down or attempting to slide around in their seat. While it will certainly be terrifying, staying in a normal driving position during an accident is one of the best ways to ensure your safety. Also, avoid tensing up when the accident actually happens, opting instead to ragdoll.

Handling the Aftermath of an Accident: Key Steps to Take

Regardless of how serious a car accident is, there are a number of crucial steps to take which can help a person respond appropriately following the wreck:

  1. Inspect yourself and anyone else involved for injuries to determine if medical services are required right away
  2. Get all vehicles involved in the crash out of the main road if possible to avoid a secondary accident
  3. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver who was involved
  4. Take photos of any and all damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle as well
  5. Contact the authorities to inform them of what happened so that debris can be removed from the road, and give statements to the police if applicable
  6. Contact your insurance company to inform them a crash occurred
  7. Visit your doctor to double-check that there are no internal injuries

The Bottom Line

The truth of the matter is that there are millions of car accidents that occur on a yearly basis, on average, and only a smaller percentage have fatalities resulting from them. What this doesn’t take into account, however, is the number of injuries that result from those car accidents. While a person may not be dead, they could have a debilitating injury that leaves them heavily impacted for the rest of their life. Use all of the above tips to reduce your risk of injury in an accident so that you can stay safe should one occur.

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