You see “buckle up” signs all across the United States and wonder if there are still people who dare to travel without them. A quick look at statistics shows that 15% of motorists (on average) still don’t wear them. And over 50% of traffic collision related deaths are due to passengers and drivers not wearing seat belts. This goes to prove how important it is to make sure you and passengers are buckled up before you pull off.
It doesn’t finish there and you need to make sure that you are sitting comfortably. And all the tools you need are ready to help you drive safely and stay alive in case of accidents. We don’t want to bore you with statistics but they all increase the chance of staying alive following a car crash.
Huge amount of money is dedicated to auto safety research and development. Every day new features come out to allow owners adjust anything they like in their vehicles. So, use those knobs, lever and buttons to get in a comfortable position before you start driving. Here are the key adjustments you should make.
- Your Seat
There are several ways of adjusting it. You can move it front, up and control the backrest the way you like. You should aim to achieve a few important functions by making changes to the position. You should be siting high enough to see the road over the steering wheel and hood. You should make sure that you can brake without needing to stretch legs.
Also you should give enough space between the steering wheel and your body to allow the airbag deploy properly. This gap should be about 10 inches or 25 cm. Arms should be slightly bent when you put hands on the steering wheel. Front passenger should be pushed back to avoid blocking the side mirror and because the airbags on this side are generally larger.
Buckling up secures you in cases of crashes and work miracles in combination with airbags in saving a life. It helps distribute the impact nicely on the parts of the body that can sustain the force better; shoulders, ribcage and hips. Seatbelt should go over shoulder and nicely across chest for safety. You should never tuck it under arm or leave it behind the back. If possible, adjust its height to make sure it doesn’t rub on the neck or sit too low across the chest. The lap belt should go nicely hip to hip, avoiding abdomen. It shouldn’t be too loose or tight.
- Your Headrest
Positioning it right and adjusting its height properly reduce the risk of whiplash when hit from behind. The top of the headrest shouldn’t be higher than the top of your head and lower than the top of ears. It is not a good idea to tilt the backrest far back because the headrest shouldn’t be more than 4 inches or 10 cm away from a head.
- Side Mirrors
First of all, make sure that they are clean from dirt, snow or ice. Then, adjust mirrors so that you can barely see own car but see the cars beside you and on the next lane. This way, you will be able to see the vehicles around you in relation to own position. Remember that side mirrors are there to tell you about the cars around you and not to watch the side of own auto.
- Rear View Mirror
Ensure that you can see the entire rear window through it without shifting your body or straining the neck. A quick glance should be all it takes.
Take a minute or two to make sure that these are all set comfortably and in a way to increase safety. Today, cars come with all sorts of advanced features. But vehicles are still driven by people and their actions are usually what determine the outcome.