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About Everything Wiki » Survival » How to survive a car accident

How to survive a car accident

05 May 2023, 09:27, parser
0 comments    0 Show
Alexander Dolgikh
Automotive blogger, journalist and writer. Author of the book "Secrets of auto-selection".

We all ride in cars: behind the wheel, in minibuses, with friends, by taxi or hitchhiking. And it doesn't matter what exactly we are driving: on a rusty Gazelle with a leaky bottom, in the back seat of an S-class, in a credit Solaris, on dad's SUV or on a rumbling ash truck with obvious signs that Adam drove his Eve on it. There is always a risk of getting into an accident. But if you know what to do in an emergency, you can stay alive.

What you need to do before the trip

Regardless of what you are going to drive, you need not forget about three important things.

Fasten up

No matter how corny it may sound, but you always need to buckle up. Of course, you can remember the story that you heard from Uncle Vasya, that his second cousin on his mother's side was alive only because he was not wearing a seat belt.

Statistics say the opposite: seat belts increase the chance of staying alive by 75%. With a frontal impact, seat belts increase your chances of survival by 2.3 times, with a side impact — by 1.8 times, with a rollover — by 5 times.

Adjust the headrest

They are comfortable to sleep on, but they are not invented for this. They are designed to save your cervical vertebrae from fracture when struck from behind or in the final phase of a frontal impact. So be sure to adjust them before you go. The upper point of the headrest should be flush with the crown.

Choose a safe place

Where you sit also matters. If we are talking about some old car, for example VAZ-2106 or VAZ-2110, then it would be best to sit behind the driver. The second safest place is in the middle. The most unreliable place is in front, to the right of the driver. The fact is that the driver, at the moment when an accident is already inevitable, instinctively takes the blow away from himself, exposing the right side of the car to the blow.

If we talk about modern foreign cars, then the safest place in them will be the front passenger seat. There are airbags and more advanced seat belts. In the back, the best place will be behind the driver, then the place in the middle.

However, all this matters only if you have not forgotten to fasten your seat belt. Otherwise, you will have to come face to face with an airbag flying out at a speed of about 300 km/h.

What to do at the time of the accident

In a frontal impact

Rest your hands on the front panel or the chair if you are sitting in the back, and your feet on the floor. Pull your head into your shoulders so that your chin is pressed against your chest. When you are first thrown forward, your head will be buried in your chest. When you are thrown back, the headrest will soften the blow.

If you are driving, then put your hands on the steering wheel, and your feet on the pedals and the floor. The left foot should push the clutch pedal all the way down or sit on the platform on the left, and the right foot should press the brake with all its might. By the way, the seat should be adjusted correctly: when the shoulder blades are pressed against the back, the outstretched hand should lie on the steering wheel in the wrist area.

In case of side impact

If the side impact fell on your side, it is best to recoil from the place of impact as far as possible and fix yourself by grabbing the back of the seat or the handle of the opposite door. If you are sitting in the back, lie down on a chair or on the knees of a neighbor and push your legs under you so that they do not break from a sharp blow.

If you find yourself in the front seat, lying on the driver's lap without disturbing him will not work. So just move away from the place of the intended impact, rest your feet on the floor and protect your head with your hands, pulling it into your shoulders, as in a frontal impact.

On impact from behind

If you realize that the impact will occur from behind, rest your feet on the floor and press your head against the headrest. If there is no headrest, slide down on the seat and bury your head in the back. It will almost certainly save you from death, disability and fracture of the cervical vertebrae.

During a coup

Group up and lock yourself in, grabbing with all your might for something immobile, such as the back of a seat or a door handle. It is better not to take up the ceiling handles above the doors, they are very frail. Do not unfasten your seat belt under any circumstances. It holds you and does not allow you to move around the cabin chaotically.

In case of flooding

If the car fell through the ice or fell into a pond, the main thing is not to panic and try to open the doors and windows as quickly as possible to float up. If the car is already submerged in water, the external pressure will not allow this to be done. Wait until the body is almost completely filled with water. When there is very little air left, you need to take a deep breath, open the doors (the pressure will level off by this time) and float up.


If you feel that a collision is about to occur, but do not understand which side, group up: lift your knees to your stomach, pull your head into your shoulders and cover it with your hands. In this position, even if the car is crushed, it will be easier for you to breathe and wait for help.

Don't think that jumping out of a car at full speed is a good idea. This only works in Hollywood action movies. In real life, at a speed of more than 60 km / h, it is safer to stay in the car, especially if it is modern. Programmable deformation zones, belts, head restraints and airbags will help you survive.

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