Avoiding Injury

 Try and avoid driving with the window next to you halfway down. During a collision, we’re normally thrown toward the point of impact. So, for example, if you’re driving with your window halfway down and you’re hit on or near your door, there’s risk of you being flung toward the door, your door’s glass and its exposed upper edge.

Always buckle up. If you look at the steering wheel or dashboard of your car you’re likely to see the letters SRS embossed in the vinyl somewhere. This indicates there’s a Supplementary Restraint System (airbag) in place at or near the lettering. Airbags and pretensioners (these can automatically self-tighten seatbelts during a collision) are supplemental to the seatbelts in a vehicle. Consequently, manufacturer crash testing is done with seatbelts on the occupants. As they analyze the slow motion imagery taken during the staged event, the engineers try and design a tightly sequenced, protective “ballet” of sorts. Their intent is to have the inflated airbag deployed and ready to meet the occupant at just the right moment during a collision. When belted in, one’s lower body will normally remain largely stationary due to the lap portion of the belt, with the upper torso arcing forward, pivoting at the hips. The chest portion of the seatbelt will restrain the torso, but not completely. This is where the airbag steps in and provides an almost instantaneous “cushion” between the steering wheel (or dash) and the person. When not belted in during a frontal collision the individual is at terrific risk of being flung forward positionally out of synch with the SRS’ intended design.   

We had one young man that had neglected to fasten his seatbelt while riding with a friend as a passenger. Unfortunately, that day they were involved in a front end collision. During the impact he flew forward, off the seat, his legs quickly folding up as he slid down toward the bottom of the dash. At that same instant the vehicle’s airbag deployed. Again, without his seatbelt on, he was completely out of the manufacturer’s restraint design model. He said that when the airbag came out, it struck his head somewhat high. In my opinion, he was lucky he didn’t break his neck. I have to say, the poor guy still looked like he’d seen better days when he showed up with his friend to pick up the car following repairs, with assorted scabs and bruises adorning his head and face.

When possible, have the kids ride in back. Statistics have shown that the most injury prone place to ride in a car is the right front seat. As a result, even if they’re old enough to sit in front, you might consider having the youngsters ride in the back seat.

3 comments on “Avoiding Injury

  1. Rudy Bouwens on said:

    Thumbs up, gifted writer. You are one of a kind.

  2. Antwan Wasyliszyn on said:

    Awesome blog thanks for your time.

  3. Jamie Iomo on said:

    Good evening

    Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work

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