Are You Riding Safe in the Car?

Are you safe?


The number one gift you can give your children is to wear your seat belt and to wear it correctly (low and tight over the hips and across the middle of your shoulder).  Seat belts prevent ejection from the vehicle. If you are ejected in a crash, you are 4 times more likely to die.  Eleven out of every 12 people who are ejected in a crash die.  Your children need you to be here for them.  If you aren’t around, who will take care of them? If you are not wearing a seatbelt and are in a crash, you could be thrown into your child causing serious injury or death.


The headrest in your vehicle is what will help protect your head from whiplash.  To provide you with the best protection, it should be adjusted so that it is even with the top of your head.  It should not be placed lower than 2-1/2″ below the top of your head.  This applies to all the passengers in your vehicle. For added safety, keep your seatback at a comfortable but upright position. If your seat is too reclined, you run the risk of submarining (sliding out the bottom of the seatbelt).


Airbags save lives when used in conjunction with a seatbelt. Airbags are supplemental restraints. This means that they cannot do their job if the seatbelt isn’t worn. In fact, they can do more harm. An airbag opens with a force up to 200 or 300 mph.

Listed below are tips on keeping yourself safe behind an airbag:

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  •   Your hands should be positioned at “9” and “3”. Many of us learned to position our hands at “10” and “2” in driver’s education. However, when hands are positioned in this way, the airbag deploying causes the arms to be throw up into the ceiling causing injury. Thumbs should be facing out. If your thumbs are facing in, your hands will not release from the steering wheel and this will cause injury.
  •   The driver should be seated 10″ away from the steering wheel column, and the passenger should be 20″ away from the dashboard. If you are seated closer, you will contact the airbag as it opens. No-one is supposed to be hit by the airbag. It should inflate without touching you. Then you will “fall” into it and will be provided with cushioning and ride-down.
  •   Position the steering wheel column so that it points to the chest. This will allow the airbag to cushion the head and chest.
  •   Don’t place your hand on the airbag cover. If you are in a crash, don’t reach for the dashboard. Doing either of this things can cause broken bones or amputation.
  •   Refrain from putting your feet on the dashboard. Doing so will cause major trama to your leg in the form of broken bones or amputation.
  •   Note that airbags are still active for about 30 minutes after the igition is turned off. Refrain from feeding a small child in front of an airbag.
  •   Do not lean against the door if your vehicle is equipped with side airbags. Doing so will cause serious or fatal injuries in a crash as the airbag opens.

Cell Phones:

Cell phone use while driving is a growing danger to motorists. In fact, several states have banned to use of phones while operating a motor vehicle. Morgan Lee Dot Org states that the risk of being involved in a traffic incident while operating a cell phone is the same as driving drunk. Morgan Lee also points out that cell phone users are 4 or 5 hundred times more likely to be involved in a crash.

If you need to use a cell phone while driving, it is advisable to pull over to a safe place and then make the call. If you have a passenger, let him/her make the call. If your phone rings while driving, let voice mail pick up the call. Refrain from dialing while driving. Cell phones are very useful when used correctly, but can be life threatening when used behind the wheel.

Additional Resources