According to car crash statistics, the United States witnesses an average of over six million car crashes each year, which makes it clear that a car crash is far from a rare occurence. More than 40,000 persons die every year and over three million suffer injuries. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 16,626 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2009. The need of the hour, thus, is more safety and precaution measures and the need to know how to use them.
With increased traffic on the road, the chance of you getting involved in a car crash is high. It is, therefore, important that you know what measures could save your life.
Always wear a seatbelt. They are mandatory by law and are most effective in minimizing injury during car accidents. They strap occupants to their seats and prevent them from being ejected from the vehicle. The lap and over the shoulder seatbelt has been found to be the most effective kind.
Side impact protection helps protect the upper body during car crashes. Side bars spread the impact of the crash behind and around the driver, thus minimizing the risk.
These airbags protect an occupant’s head. They are also useful if the car topples over. Installed in the roof rails, these airbags open downwards in the event of a crash, providing protection for those sitting next to the door.
Active head restraints can help prevent neck injuries, as they reduce the space between an occupant’s head and the headrest.
These airbags are designed in such a way that they inflate on impact and do not allow occupants from hitting the dashboard, steering or windshield in the case of an accident.
Safety and booster seats are very important when travelling with a child. Infants up to 1 year of age should sit in rear-facing safety seats. Children up to the age of 8 should be seated in secure car or booster seats.
The ESC is very effective in case of a crash on slippery roads. The system automatically applies the brake to one or more of its wheels when a vehicle starts going out of control, thus helping the driver regain control of the steering.
Collapsible steering columns fold up in the event of a crash. In case of a frontal crash, this prevents a driver from being impaled on the steering column.
Laminated Windshields are two panes of glass with a layer of plastic in between them. They prevent an unbelted passenger from being ejected from the car. While the glass crumbles into granules, the plastic remains, thus proving to be a safer option than normal glass.
Crumple zones are features that absorb energy during the impact. In simple language, they take the force of the crash, while reducing the impact on the occupants. This is built into the car. They follow the principle of shock absorption.