Brace For Impact: Split Second Reacting For Safety

Posted by Ben Davidson about 8 months ago
You’ll never forget it when it happens to you. You’ll be in a bit of a shock the first couple of minutes after it does, and then you’ll begin to slow down mentally and think clearly again. A car crash is an experience the human body was never designed for. That’s why cars are so complex when it comes to safety design with air bags now being placed at the sides in doors and roofs, as well as in driver and passenger seats for the people sat in back. Even though we are strong and our bodies can withstand incredibly impacts, we should still try to keep safe as much as possible. You never know what it's going to be like until you’re in it. It's a mental mystery or some kind of daydream fantasy that we all hope we’ll react properly in when or if it comes to realty. However if you can see an impact about to happen to you and you have time to react somehow, even if it's just a split second here’s what you should do.


Copy the racing drivers

When racing drivers are first entered into a professional race they are drilled by their teams on how to react or behave during an impact. The first rule is to keep your neck upright as much as possible. In fact you should try to keep in contact with your headrest and keep a stiff neck on impact. This is because our head weighs a lot and when the g-forces are so high, we can end up smacking around the inside of the car if we’re lost and not secured. The second rule is to keep your thumbs out of the steering wheels. When a car’s wheels or axle is suddenly shifted very violently, your thumbs can literally snap and twist under that pressure and force. Keep your hands at the standard 9 and 3 o’clock positions but have your thumbs placed on the face of the steering wheel.


The signs of spinal injury

Hopefully you will never be in this situation but if you are, you should try to stay calm and figure out what exactly has happened to you. A spinal injury is very serious and unlike the movies, it's not something that you may be able to shake off and possibly drag yourself out of a totalled vehicle. Looking at this car accident infographic, you can see that the lumbar spine is the most common form of injury sustained to the back in car accidents. This is because it's the part of the back that has the least strong muscles supporting the spinal column. It can twist easily and compress rapidly. The curvature can be manipulated more so than the middle or upper back. Move slowly so as to not disturb any discs, and apply heat or ice to the area. Try to stay upright and seek medical help if you are in debilitating pain.

Don’t move around too fast after a car accident. You need to see if your back is hurt or not and protect your spine. Keep your thumbs out of the steering wheel and remember to keep a straight and stiff neck while bracing for an impact.

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