10 Tips to prevent car accidents

When making lengthy journeys, the driver will experience both the thrill of getting closer to the destination on the way out and the weariness of making progress toward it on the way back.

Tips to prevent car accidents

We prepare ourselves mentally for the experience by presuming that there will be more difficult stretches and others that will be more enjoyable.

To prevent ourselves from nodding off behind the wheel, we know that we will need to make a pit stop every two hours to get some refreshments and water.

We know it is beneficial to travel while listening to music or conversing with other passengers to prevent mental fatigue.

On the other hand, it would appear that most drivers accept the possibility of experiencing both pain and discomfort as a given.

Pain in the back, pain in the neck, pain in the arms, and pain in the legs.

Because driving requires involvement from a significant number of the body’s systems, there is a substantial possibility of sustaining an injury.

In addition, we have already mentioned that many people think it is perfectly normal to exit their vehicle and exclaim, “It hurts!”

Today, we will demonstrate that by implementing just ten easy suggestions, we can enhance our driving experience and protect ourselves from a significant number of minor injuries associated with driving. In addition, when we are relaxed, it is easier for us to react appropriately when something unexpected happens.

Advice for preventing injuries while you’re behind the wheel

Below, we will provide some indications that work toward achieving our objective; however, it is necessary to say the following two things first: our body knows best what works for it and what does not.

In other words, if we adjust the seat so that it is at the correct height but still feel uncomfortable, we can quickly return to the way things were before we changed.

Second, if the pain lasts for an extended period and the treatments described in this article do not alleviate it, we may have a more severe injury.

The issue will be diagnosed, and a traumatologist or physiotherapist will provide the solution.

We are all susceptible to injuries, but we must take extra precautions to avoid serious ones as we age.

1. The seating position

The seat is critical. When we buy the car, we first have to make sure that the materials and upholstery are of high quality and that they are comfortable.

In this regard, our financial resources cannot be cheap because the consequences will be severe.

After we have obtained a seat of sufficient quality, it is time to adjust it.

Because we need to ensure visibility to the back of the hood, the seat height should be adjusted so that the driver’s eyes are at the same level as the top of the windshield.

When stepping on the pedals, the legs should be able to be bent ever-so-slightly.

This will be covered again later on in the lesson. Because of the distance between the driver’s seat and the steering wheel, the driver’s hands must be slightly bent.

We have a responsibility to ensure that we are comfortable. If the initial adjustment is inadequate, we must pause for a few moments and adjust the seat.

2. The padded backrest

The backrest is the most critical component for ensuring a comfortable ride.

Everyone adjusts it to their liking, but we must be careful that it is not positioned in a highly upright or reclined position.

The arms need to be stretched to the appropriate degree for this to succeed.

Back and neck pain, which can be so debilitating at times, can be avoided by adjusting the backrest in the chair appropriately.

Throughout the trip, it is imperative to keep up a healthy posture.

When we have the opportunity to relax, we need to ensure that we don’t slump over and that the seat and backrest are comfortable.

We will need to flex smoothly, without making sudden movements, so that we can shift gears, which occurs quite frequently in manual cars.

Because movement is something we do regularly, if we do not move properly, we risk developing injuries, including a herniated disc.

3. The pedals

Because using the pedals is a constant throughout the ride, it is essential to appropriately adjust the distance between the seats and the pedals.

Therefore, we need to work on achieving the proper posture to protect our joints from the wear and tear that repeated motions can cause.

Because driving too straight causes the foot to slide on the pedal, the knee should always be bent a few degrees.

This prevents the foot from slipping off the pedal when a sudden movement is required.

Because of this, we need to ensure that we are correctly positioned to move around without experiencing discomfort and avoid putting strain on the leg muscles, particularly the calf muscles or hamstrings, or damaging the knees.

Physiotherapist José Santos says, “When the foot is placed incorrectly on the pedal, it can cause the joint to come into contact with the area of the dashboard that is home to the gearshift lever.

Because this friction is constant with one of the endings of the sciatic nerve, it can cause the leg to go to sleep, which impairs our responsiveness.”

4. The adjustable headrest

It is not recommended to lean your head on the headrest in any way.

It is not appropriate for us to rest our heads there because it performs the function of a passive safety element.

To reduce the risk of experiencing whiplash in a collision, our eyes should be positioned at a level equal to half the height of the part.

5. The wheel behind the driver’s seat

When you first get your driver’s license, one of the first things you are taught is to have both hands on the steering wheel at all times.

We make the environment more secure and responsive.

However, there is a second reason why it is preferable to drive with both hands on top of the steering wheel.

Doing so will prevent irritating wrist dislocations and other types of injuries that can affect the hands, wrists, and forearms. We must refrain from crossing our arms while behind the wheel.

Shoulders are another body area susceptible to injury if the driver maintains an improper posture while behind the wheel.

We will measure the distance from the steering wheel to the seat to take care of the trapezius muscle and prevent overload.

It is necessary to have the elbows stretched, but they should not be completely straight.

When driving, resting an elbow on the window creates an awkward posture that can hurt the shoulders.

Some vehicles have a height that raises the position of the shoulder, which can also damage the cervical.

6. Belt

It is essential that seat belt not interfere with our ability to drive, even though it is designed to keep us safe in the event of an accident.

The proper way to position it is to go over the collarbone, stay away from the neck, and conform to the body so that folds cannot be formed.

If it comes too close to the neck, it can injure us in this region; additionally, in the event of an accident, it would be less effective, potentially causing us to suffer even more pain.

7. Rearview mirrors

There shouldn’t be any difficulty maneuvering around the rear-view mirrors.

They ought to be arranged so we can get a clear view of the back of the vehicle without turning our heads.

The interior mirror should be centered on the rear window, and we should be able to see the end of the car in the side mirrors.

The more open the angle, the more vision we will have. A correct mirror arrangement looks like this: the interior mirror should be centered on the rear window.

If the positioning is accurate, we won’t have to worry about experiencing pain in the region of the neck, and we won’t have to contend with awkward angles.

8. Breaks

It is essential to take breaks, not just so the children can use the restroom.

The body needs to be able to properly hydrate itself and stretch and relax its joints, which can be accomplished during breaks.

Stops should be taken whenever the body signals its need, but the time behind the wheel should not exceed two hours.

Even if we are in a hurry to arrive, skipping rest breaks puts us at risk of having an accident.

We can find a wide variety of exercises tailored to drivers’ requirements on the internet.

These exercises range from craniocervical retrusion to lateral neck movements, stretching of the leg muscles, and so on.

We need to make sure that physiotherapists are the ones who teach us how to do them and that we are doing them correctly and with the appropriate number of repetitions.

9. The passengers and the passenger assistant driver

We cannot ignore that other people are in the vehicle, nor can the other passengers overlook their health. If their posture is inadequate, they run the risk of experiencing discomfort.

When it comes to the co-driver, they should never put their feet on top of the dashboard because this places them in a position where they could sustain severe injuries in the event of an accident.

And above all else, don’t stick your hands out the window because you never know when something might hit them and hurt you or even cause them to have to be amputated.

10. The front door and back door

The physiotherapists of the Professional Association of the College of Physiotherapists of Madrid recommend entering first with the pelvis, sitting on the seat and making a fixed point, and then rotating the legs to the inside to avoid injuries when getting into and out of the vehicle.

You should exit the car using the door on the passenger side first.

10 Tips to prevent car accidents

Bonus track: attire and footwear that is appropriate for the occasion

The DGT would like to remind everyone that it is essential to wear proper clothing and footwear when driving.

Driving requires footwear that is comfortable and flexible, supports the foot, and has a good feel for the controls.

This ensures the driver can step on the pedals with the appropriate force and accuracy.

We are strongly recommended to refrain from wearing shoes with heels or rigid soles, as well as flip-flops and sandals. The soles should be dry and clean to reduce the risk of slipping while driving.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DGT) makes it abundantly clear that a driver’s clothing can also condition the driver, regardless of whether the trip is short or long.

It is not advisable to wear the bulky, warm clothing that is typical during the winter because it prevents the correct adjustment of the seat belt and reduces the effectiveness of the seat belt when it comes into use.

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