We take a risk every time we get behind the wheel. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car accidents killed 1,617 people in Alabama and Mississippi in 2018. It’s easy to assume that it won’t happen to you. However, Alabama estimates that we have a 90% chance of being in a car crash in our lifetimes—and a one in three chance of a severe or fatal accident.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hit the road. However, it is wise to take steps ahead of time to give yourself the best possible outcome if the unthinkable happens.
Stay Safe in a Crash With These Safety Precautions
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re committed to driver safety education. It’s surprising how simple things can save your life during a car accident.
1. Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself on the road. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, 56% of people killed in car crashes were not wearing their seatbelts. While it’s illegal to ride in a vehicle’s front seat without a seatbelt, it’s also in your best interest.
If you’re unrestrained during a severe crash, your airbags are not enough to protect you. First, airbag systems sometimes fail to deploy during a collision. Second, when an impact triggers your airbag system, a small canister causes an explosion that inflates the airbag. It’s not a gentle process, and the force of an airbag deploying can hurt or kill you if you’re not wearing your seatbelt.
If you frequently ride with an animal, like a dog, in your vehicle, also consider getting a restraint system for them. Imagine you’re driving your car, and your 65-pound Labrador retriever is sitting in the front passenger’s seat. While in an intersection, another driver runs a red light and t-bones your car. Your beloved pet is flung towards you in the collision. Not only is your pet in danger in this situation, but so are you. Getting hit by 65-pounds of force can cause serious, life-threatening injuries.
2. Maintain Proper Posture and Don’t Brace
Cars are designed to protect you in a crash, as long as you are sitting with proper posture. When your body is out of alignment because you’re slouching, reclined, or bracing against the car, it may lead to additional injuries.
While driving, adjust the seat, so your thighs are supported, your arms comfortably reach the steering wheel, and you can see out of your mirrors without having to crane your neck. Make sure your headrest is properly adjusted to support your head. The headrest prevents you from getting whiplash and other neck injuries; positioned directly behind your head is best
Passengers should avoid putting their feet up on the dashboard and sit with their feet on the floor in front of them.
3. Secure Loose Objects
Loose objects become projectiles during a car accident. Previously harmless objects like canned goods, your laptop, a metal water bottle, or even your cell phone can cause tremendous damage in a car crash. To protect yourself, stow groceries and other goods in your trunk or truck bed, or securely behind your driver’s seat.
4. Use Age-Appropriate Safety Seats for Children
Alabama and Mississippi have their own car seat laws, but we also suggest following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines, which are considered the gold standard. If there’s a child in your car, you should follow these guidelines:
- Rear-facing car seat or infant seat: infants and children should stay rear-facing for as long as possible; they should weigh at least 40 pounds when you transition them to a front-facing position.
- Front-facing car seat: all children should remain in a front-facing car seat until they outgrow the seat’s height and weight limits, typically when they reach 65 pounds.
- Booster seat: keep kids in a booster seat until they are at least 12 years old and four feet, nine inches.
Children should never sit in the front seat until they are at least 14 years old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, proper restraints and seating for children in the car are the best ways to protect them in the event of a crash.
5. Pack Survival Tools in Your Vehicle
It’s always a good idea to be prepared. You should keep the following items in your car:
- A seatbelt cutter and glass breaker (a small and relatively inexpensive tool)
- First aid kit that includes a reflective hazard sign
- Fire extinguisher
In an emergency, these simple tools can save lives. However, make sure everything is safely stowed so that your survival tools won’t come loose during a collision.
A Car Crash Lawyer Can Help You Recover After a Crash
Preparation can’t prevent every car accident, but it can ensure you stay as safe as possible if one happens. Unfortunately, even with the most responsible motorists suffer life-changing injuries.
A car accident lawyer can help you find justice and closure. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we fight for our
We can help victims make sure they get a fair insurance settlement, uncover hidden crash causes, like faulty safety devices, and take legal action to file a lawsuit when necessary.
Surviving a car crash is one of the most stressful and traumatic events you can experience in your life. Afterward, you and your family deserve to rest, relax, and heal without worrying about whether or not you will be able to afford your recovery. When you work with an empathetic, experienced attorney, they’ll fight for you so you can focus on putting your life back together.
Hurt in a Mississippi or Alabama Car Crash? Call Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we know how hard it is to pick up the pieces after a Mississippi or Alabama car crash that wasn’t your fault. That’s why we fight for clients like you to make sure they have the resources they need to recover and return to their lives, work, and families.
To learn about your options and what to do next, schedule a free, no-risk consultation with one of our attorneys. This meeting is completely confidential. Schedule yours today by calling our office at 251-888-8888 or fill out our simple online contact form.
We look forward to hearing from you!
2018 crash facts (2019). Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.caps.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CrashFacts_2018.pdf
Fatality Facts 2018: State by State. (2019, December). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2018, August 20). AAP Updates Recommendations on Car Seats for Children. AAP.org. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Updates-Recommendations-on-Car-Seats-for-Children.aspx
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.