While we know vehicles come equipped with safety features, we often don’t consider how we are sitting or positioned inside the vehicle as a safety precaution.
Drivers and passengers often want to feel more comfortable, especially on road trips or long commutes. Unfortunately, sitting improperly in a vehicle conflicts with the intended safety features and poses a greater risk of injury.
Here are some ways you might be sitting improperly and increasing your risk of a more serious injury.
1. Feet on the Dashboard
It’s common for passengers (and even some drivers) to stretch out during long road trips. Unfortunately, propping your legs or feet up on the dashboard or window can be extremely dangerous. If an accident were to happen and the airbag deployed, there’s not enough time to react and shield your legs and feet from the impact. Incidents involving feet and legs on the dashboard can cause serious injuries, including losing the ability to walk.
2. Hanging Arms and Legs Out the Window
While it’s tempting to feel the breeze on your skin, hanging arms or legs out the car window is just asking for an injury. Body parts could strike objects or even another vehicle, or a sudden accident could expose your body to an unnecessary injury, including even potentially losing a limb. Hanging body parts out the window is just not safe, especially in the event of a car accident.
3. Improper Headrest Placement
The top of the headrest should be level with the top of your head. A headrest that is too low can be dangerous if you’re rear-ended. During an accident, the body moves toward the impact, which means the neck and top of your head can snap back. Furthermore, keeping the back of your head as close to the headrest as possible will further protect you from a neck injury.
4. Sitting Too Close to the Steering Wheel
An airbag deploys at 200 mph, so when you’re sitting too close to the steering wheel, your body receives the full impact of the deployment. Ideally, the airbag should contact the body after it fully deploys to reduce the brunt of the impact. The recommended distance is 10 inches from the center of the steering wheel to your chest.
5. Not Using Seatbelts – Even in the Backseat
One of the tried and true safety measures is buckling up. The airbags and seatbelts are meant to work together for optimum protection. Without the seatbelt, a car accident could cause you to move around within the vehicle and crash into the steering wheel, windshield, or even other passengers. This is why it’s important to also wear a seatbelt even when sitting in the backseat.
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From minor fender benders to severe accidents with life-threatening injuries, it’s important to find a car accident attorney who understands injuries are not a one-size-fits-all situation.
While you focus on recovery, our car accident attorneys fight for a fair settlement to fully compensate you for your losses.
Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers at 1-800-350-8888 today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.