Getting a head injury in a car accident is certainly no fun experience – even if you walk away relatively uninjured, your wallet can take a significant hit. But in the midst of a car accident, your wallet is the least of your concerns – your head is the more immediate concern.
While car safety features have come leaps and bounds in the modern era, there are still some ways you can increase your crash safety beyond the manufacturer’s built-in mechanisms.
In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on lowering the risk of head injury in a car accident.
Have multiple airbags
Airbags aren’t only able to be installed in your steering wheel. You can also install curtain, or side airbags, to reduce the risk of head injuries that come from side impact collisions. Combined with seatbelts, the steering wheel, and door-mounted airbags can keep you safe from multiple angles.
While it’s not common, airbags are known to sometimes fail. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and sustained injuries, you should be represented by an injury attorney – especially in the case of faulty airbags or other vehicle malfunctions.
Install foam padding on your dashboard
To protect your head from a traumatic brain injury in a head-on collision, you should install a bit of foam padding on the dashboard. While most dashboards are already made from polycarbonate or other materials, you can add an extra layer of protection yourself.
You can purchase strips of memory foam, and layer them along your dashboard for a bit of added padding. This is especially useful if you drive an older car model, when ridged dashboards with jutting edges are often present.
Install a five-point harness seat belt
The three-point harness seat belt is the most commonly used restraint system because it offers a balance between driver comfort and protection. However, this comes at a price – while you have more mobility to reach over and change the radio station, you’ll also bounce around a lot more, relatively speaking, during secondary impacts.
Five-point harness systems are most commonly seen on race car drivers, who are driving at high speeds around the track. However, they can also be used in passenger vehicles. While you’ll be sacrificing a bit of mobility, you’ll gain a lot more security.
If a five-point harness is too restrictive for you, consider a four-point instead. It’s still safer than a three-point restraint.
Wear a half-helmet, and maximize your head-restraint safety
“Wear a helmet in your car? That sounds ridiculous,” you might think to yourself. Nobody does that (except racecar drivers). But why not? In fact, numerous studies over the years have shown that motorist helmets would significantly reduce the risk of head injuries in car accidents, by around 50%.
So why don’t we wear helmets while driving cars? Because they don’t look cool, and nobody else does it. Hey, if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?
But this doesn’t mean you should go out and purchase a heavy, full-face helmet like for motorcycle riders. In fact, the added weight of a heavy helmet could be dangerous to your neck and spine. So go with the lighter half-helmet option, like a simple bicycle helmet.
Final tips for preventing head injury in a car accidents
Most of these suggestions should give you a clear understanding of how to reduce your chances of a head injury while driving. However, here are a couple more tips to help you avoid crashing in the first place:
- Keep your focus sharp, particularly when changing lanes or making turns.
- Sit far away from the steering wheel, about 10 inches or further.
- Avoid texting or changing the radio in the midst of traffic.
- And be sure to wear your seatbelt!
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