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Essential Steps to Survive a Car Wreck: A Comprehensive Guide

Last updated Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Essential Steps to Survive a Car Wreck: A Comprehensive Guide

There’s a car wreck happening in America every 13 minutes. 43% of drivers or passengers involved in these wrecks are injured. How badly will your life be impacted if you’re involved in a car crash? It depends on the impact of the crash.

Are car wrecks unpredictable? Yes. Are they unavoidable? No!

A little road safety and vehicle awareness can help you steer clear of these dangers. But if you do get into a car wreck, they can dramatically increase your chances of survival. 

The car wreck survival steps you’ll learn today can be the difference between you walking away with a few scratches instead of a life-threatening injury.

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Before a Car Wreck: Fortifying Your Defenses

Here are the essential steps you must take to prevent car wreck:

Buckle Up for Safety: The Lifesaving Power of Seat Belts

Surviving a car wreck is a game of odds. And seat belts can reduce the odds of serious injuries and fatalities by nearly 50%. Without a seat belt there’s nothing to restrain your body from:

  •       being tossed around like a rag doll
  •       being slammed up against a hard object
  •       from going through the windshield
  •       being thrown out of the vehicle into oncoming traffic

Do a safety belt check for all your car occupants before you even turn on your car. Buy special seats for children and pets if needed. Your seat belt should be going across your hip bones and the shoulder belt will run across the center of your chest.

Beyond Metal and Wheels: The Safest Car You Can Afford

The evolution of car safety technology has made it far easier to navigate roads. Features like built-in GPS, lane-departure warnings, and automatic braking help minimize the work of drivers.

Browse through a reliable buyer’s guide to select a secure and reliable vehicle. Evaluate your vehicle’s standard and optional safety features and official crash test ratings.

Objects of Peril: Taming Potential Projectiles

Anything that falls out of a speeding vehicle can turn into a dangerous projectile. Even a loose can of soda in the back of a pick-up truck can fly back at 60 miles per hour and shatter your windshield.

It’s ideal to keep your trunk junk-free and travel light. Every loose item should be properly secured. You can use a cargo cover or net. It’s also safer to avoid lanes with cargo trucks in front of you. But if you have no option, at least maintain a safe distance while trailing these vehicles.

The Survivors’ Arsenal: Auto Survival Tools and First Aid Kits

What if you get stuck in a flooded car with your doors jammed? What if your car turns upside down and your seatbelts get stuck?

Sometimes you need to create an emergency exit the good old-fashioned way – breaking and cutting through the obstacles.

That’s why you should keep a seatbelt cutter and a glass breaker in your dashboard.  Keep a comprehensive first-aid kit handy for taking care of basic injuries until help arrives.

During a Car Wreck: Navigating the Chaotic Crucible

Here’s how to reduce the impact of the crash when you know it’s not possible to avoid it anymore:

Harnessing the Power of Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS)

Most cars have an anti-lock braking (ABS) system in place. It helps prevent your car’s wheels from locking up and skidding. This allows you to retain control of your car and steer it to safety.

Your car’s ABS can pump brakes faster than you can to slow it down much more efficiently. When you feel the ABS vibrating, don’t pump the brakes. Just press and hold the brake so that you can retain control of the car steering as it comes to a halt.

Slow and Steady: The Art of Controlled Deceleration

Want to know why car wreck in zones with bumper-to-bumper traffic are rarely fatal? Because it’s the speed that kills. When there’s no space for vehicles to speed around in, there’s a low possibility of a disastrous crash.

The faster your vehicle travels, the more forceful the crash’s impact will be. Stick to the unique speed limits in every area. And minimize your speed as soon as you suspect there’s a chance of a collision happening.

Redefining Survival Instincts: Acceleration as a Viable Option

What if we tell you speed can save your life? Sounds contradictory after our last point, doesn’t it? But sometimes you need to think out of the box to save lives. Sometimes your only option to avoid a projectile or a vehicle is to push down on your accelerator and swerve out of danger. It takes a lot of driving experience to consciously do this when your first instinct will be to slow down.

A driver's hand gripping the steering wheelRegaining Control: Dancing with Skids and Slides

There’s a strong chance of skidding when you’re driving in rainy or snowy conditions. Don’t panic and jam the accelerator or brakes if it happens.

Try to steer in the direction of the skid until your tires regain traction. This will allow your car tires to roll with the inertia rather than skidding against it. 

Beyond Fast and Furious: Avoiding Sudden Movements

Don’t lose your cool and jerk the steering aggressively. Smooth responses will always win over swift actions.

Whether you need to urgently speed up or slow down, you still need to safely maneuver your car out of danger’s path. Any sudden movements can compromise your steering capabilities.

Steering Towards Safety: The Art of Object Impact Management

It’s important to be mindful of the road and the area you’re driving in. When a crash is unavoidable, choose the path of least resistance.

Steer towards bushes, water drums, haystacks, or any other object that can minimize impact. Steer clear of dangerous obstructions like oncoming traffic, big trees, and concrete barriers.

Posture for Protection: Embracing the Driving Position Advantage

Bracing for impact doesn’t mean you have to hunch or duck to protect yourself in a car crash. In fact, doing that can worsen your injuries. Your car safety measures like seat belts and airbags are built to protect you in a normal driving position.

If you duck, you might smash your head on the steering wheel. If you put your arms in front of the steering wheel, you might break your arms. Staying upright is the only right posture to protect yourself.

After a Car Wreck: Rising from the Ashes

Just because you’ve crashed your car, it doesn’t mean the worst Is over yet. Here’s what you can do to safeguard yourself after a car wreck:

SOS: Summoning Help with a Single Call

Seeking medical attention should be your only priority after a car wreck. You might overlook serious injuries like internal bleeding, whiplash, and concussions, which aren’t easily visible. Emergency medical services will ensure everyone injured gets the necessary testing and treatment required.

It’s important to inform them about important details like the number of people injured, the nature of injuries, and the car wreck site.

The Crossroads: To Stay or Not to Stay Inside Your Vehicle

Don’t be so quick to rush out of the car when you’re caught in a precarious spot. Your car wreck may be a small part of a chain of crashes happening around you. Naturally, stepping out during a multi-car pileup is only going to put you in grave danger.

You might even have serious spinal injuries that require you to stay still. Wait inside till emergency authorities can safely clear the car wreck site and evacuate you.

Containing Chaos: Preventing Post-Car Wreck Fires

Damaged fuel tanks or engines can lead to dangerous fires breaking out after a car crash.

Turn off your engine to prevent the leaking fuel vapors from igniting. Warn anyone in the area to avoid smoking near the car wreck site.

First Aid Heroics: Empowering the Injured

Learn how to identify serious injuries before rushing to treat someone. Check the victim’s pulse and try to clear their airway from any obstruction. Try to administer CPR to resuscitate them. Serious blood loss can dramatically reduce a victim’s chances of survival.

You can use clean bandages or clothes to dress the wounds and contain the bleeding. Ensure the victim is out of danger’s path. But if there’s no imminent danger, don’t move the injured victim if you suspect they’ve suffered a serious spinal injury.

Escape from Danger: Facing the Odds Head-On

You need to prepare your exit strategy if you’re ever caught in a sinking or burning car. Keeping a mini fire extinguisher in your car may help you to fight off the flames long enough to exit the car safely.

It’s a different struggle when you’re stuck in a sinking car. The water pressure will make it difficult to open the car windows or doors. Don’t waste time trying to break your damage-resistant windshields. Use your foot or a glass-breaking tool to shatter the side windows and escape the car. 

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