Surviving a Car Crash – What You Need To Know
Car accidents are among the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30,000 traffic fatalities are reported each year. We have posted this guide in the hope that it will help readers avoid an accident or, if an accident cannot be avoided, minimize the risk of serious injury. Depending on the make and model year of your vehicle, you may or may not find all of this information to be pertinent to you. However, most the methods shared below are effectively universal.
- Remain calm. When a person is panicking, he or she is more likely to make sudden, jerky movements, which serves to increase the risk of an accident. Take a breath and keep your head on straight.
- Respond quickly AND smoothly. Assess the situation and decide what combination of steering, braking, and accelerating will best serve to avoid or minimize harm from a crash.
- Brake properly. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes, don’t slam them. Doing the latter may cause you to skid and lose control. Just rhythmically press and release the brakes. If you do have anti-lock brakes, just hold the brakes firmly and steer normally. The car’s ABS system will do the pumping for you.
- Steer smoothly. Using jerky motions are likely to lead to skids, which, in turn, can turn into a dangerous rollover crash. You especially need to be careful if you’re driving a heavier vehicle.
- Sometimes, it’s better to accelerate. This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes speeding up can help you dodge an imminent collision.
- If you start to skid, you can take steps to recover. Don’t slam on the brakes – this will only make matters worse. Instead, keep a firm grip on the wheel and steer in the direction of the skid. You can start braking or acceleration once the tires regain traction.
- If you cannot avoid the crash, take steps to minimize damage. Avoid head-on collisions and side impacts. Also, lower your velocity as much as you can since faster impacts generally lead to more damages.
- After the crash, do not smoke or light a flame for any other purpose. This is especially important if your vehicle was carrying flammable or explosive goods.
- Get medical attention ASAP. Even if you feel uninjured, you want to get checked out just to make 100 percent sure you’re okay. Also, leave removal of injured people, whether it’s yourself or other passengers, to the emergency response team.
One last tip: if another party was liable for the accident, reach out to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for legal help. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages during recovery, pain and suffering, and more. To receive a free consultation with one of our dedicated team members, call us today at (800) 522-7274.