Motorists put themselves at risk on the highway and local roads when they speed or engage in distracted driving, such as texting or eating while behind the wheel. These actions often cause traffic fatalities, and the Insurance Information Institute notes that more than 36,000 people died in such accidents in 2019.
While no one can predict a fatal car crash, motorists may reduce the risk by using a variety of safety devices that protect them and their passengers.
Child car seats
When car accidents occur, people who are not belted in properly are often ejected from the vehicle and are either struck by oncoming traffic or die from serious blunt force trauma. Children are particularly at risk due to their smaller size; however, using an approved infant or child seat can prevent this from occurring. When you install the seat, you may want to have it inspected at a local police or fire station to ensure it will not detach in case of an accident.
Many late-model vehicles now come equipped with airbags for drivers and all passengers. While driver and passenger airbags were federally mandated features after 1999, other types are now included in many different types of vehicles, frontal airbags are generally the most helpful when it comes to preventing car accident fatalities.
When drivers and passengers wear seatbelts, they cut their risk of death during a serious car accident by nearly 50%. Those who ride in the front seat are especially vulnerable to major injury and death if they do not buckle up.
Defensive driving and staying alert can also reduce the risk of fatal car accidents. While safety equipment can prevent this, remaining aware of your surroundings while behind the wheel can also help keep you safe.