If you’ve never been in a car accident before, then you might not appreciate just how devastating one can be.

Not only is your car damaged, but there’s also a great possibility that you sustain some form of injury. If you’re lucky, then this will be fairly minor, but a more severe injury can still happen if circumstances aren’t in your favor.

Injuries stemming from an accident vary from a brain injury to a chest wound. In particular, car accidents are a common cause of chest contusions

With this in mind, you’ll surely want to know how to mitigate the risk of sustaining a serious injury during a car accident. We’ll give you a few helpful tips below to lower your chances of getting hurt in a crash.

Properly Adjust Seat and Headrest

The first piece of advice is to properly adjust your seat and headrest.

Your seats are likely to be adjustable so that you can always be sitting comfortably and close enough to reach the pedals. You should also be able to steer without strain in whatever position you sit in. 

It’s important to adjust your seat properly so that you aren’t in a dangerous position during an accident. Being too close to the steering wheel will increase the likelihood of slamming into the steering column.

Furthermore, you’ll also be impacted harder by your airbag. It can cause suffocation if you aren’t able to free yourself, which can also happen if you are sitting too close.

Your headrest is also important because it supports your neck. The proper position is for the headrest to fully support your head so that there is no mobility during a crash.

Problems arise when your headrest doesn’t touch your head. This can create a scenario where your head whips back during an impact, which is known as whiplash. 

To prevent either injury from happening, make sure that your seat and headrest are properly adjusted to fully support you and provide plenty of room for maneuverability. 

Wear Your Seatbelt

You should also appreciate the importance of always wearing your seatbelt

This is a safety feature that’s easy to take for granted, but it will save your life in a car accident.

When you get into a crash, all of the force from the other vehicle will slam into your car. Without a seatbelt, you will be sent flying and likely through the windshield.

At a bare minimum, you’ll bounce around inside your car and this is dangerous enough. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll fly far from your vehicle and die upon impact wherever you land.

On the other hand, something as simple as a seatbelt will keep you secured during an accident. You’ll be strapped in place and kept immobilized to prevent you from hitting anything.

Putting on your seatbelt is quick and easy, giving you no reason not to wear it. 

Minimize Dangerous Clutter

Another helpful tip is to minimize dangerous clutter in your car.

This doesn’t apply to junk like fast food wrappers or empty water bottles, but instead to bulkier objects that hurt when they’re thrown. For example, imagine having dumbbells or a baseball bat in your back seat. 

When you get into a crash, all of your unsecured belongings will get sent flying and this can be dangerous. In this scenario, the car accident might be fairly minor, but you can sustain a serious injury from a flying baseball bat. 

It’s easy to overlook things like this because you don’t deal with it often. However, you don’t want to learn this the hard way. Don’t leave anything loose in your car and put anything dangerous in the trunk!

Accident Prevention Is Your Safest Option

With everything in mind, accident prevention is your safest option.

While there are ways to prevent injuries during a car crash, your choices are limited and you’ll need to mostly rely on luck to keep you safe.

When it comes to safety, this isn’t something you want to leave up to luck. Instead, you want a guarantee that you won’t get injured. 

In terms of a car accident, the only way to guarantee that you don’t get injured is by avoiding an accident in the first place. This means that you’ll need to prioritize safe driving, which requires you to be a defensive driver and pay close attention to the road.

Car accidents are a world of trouble and you don’t want the injuries that come along with them. You can’t avoid every accident, but being intentional about being a better driver will greatly reduce your risk of experiencing one! 

Closing Thoughts

Most car accidents are scary occurrences that can leave you with several injuries. This can vary in severity and each crash is a little different.

Reducing your risk of receiving an injury is very difficult, but there are a few ways of making this happen. This includes properly adjusting your seat and headrest, wearing your seatbelt, and removing dangerous clutter.

While these methods can be helpful, they aren’t always effective and this is why you should focus on avoiding an accident altogether. Commit to being a safer driver and you’ll appreciate the fewer number of accidents that you encounter as a result.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "How to Minimize the Risk of an Injury During a Car Accident," in Medicalopedia, March 19, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8530/how-to-minimize-the-risk-of-an-injury-during-a-car-accident/].