Brace for impact, when possible

When it comes to car accidents, most experts agree that you should brace for impact if you can. While it's not typically possible to react in time, there are instances, such as rear-endings, where you may have enough time to decide. If an accident can't be avoided, and you see it coming, there are certain bracing techniques that may lessen the severity of your injuries.

Decades of automobile and aviation research on injury avoidance has led to certain recommended postures in preparation for an impact.

Four ways to prepare to be rear-ended

  • Press your head into the headrest and your back, flat against the seat
  • Press one foot on the brake and the other against the floor board
  • Face forward and hold the steering wheel firmly
  • Tense your entire body

While bracing for impact is the body's natural response, you may not have enough time to do so. Considering this, here are five tips for proper positioning while driving:

Four tips to position yourself safely

  • Wear your seat-belt as designed, ensuring that the shoulder belt crosses your shoulder, not your neck.
  • Ensure that your headrest is level with the top of your head and touching the back of your head.
  • Sit as far from the steering wheel as possible while still allowing a slight bend in the knee.
  • If possible, adjust the lumbar support in the seat back so it matches the contour of your back.

The advice provided here is a sampling of the best practices. In the event of an accident, the severity of your injury is, unfortunately, largely out of your control. Give yourself the best possible chance of maintaining your health by practicing safe driving habits, such as avoiding distractions and predicting the actions of those around you. In the event of an accident, always receive a full examination.

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