Safety is a top priority for drivers. We shop for cars with high safety ratings; we obey traffic laws and speed limits; we wear our seat belts.
But if you are a passenger, there is something else you can do to stay safe in a car: choose your seat wisely.
Location, location, location
Some seats in a vehicle are safer than other spots. And the middle back seat is often considered the safest place to be in the event of a crash.
Sitting in the middle back of a car generally means a person has the largest crush zone, which is the space designed to crumple in the event of a collision. This area absorbs the force of a crash and acts as a buffer to protect occupants inside a vehicle.
That said, more research is needed to determine how safe backseat passengers are in a rear-end collision.
Thus, keep in mind that the front passenger seat can also be one of the safest spots to sit, especially in newer-model cars.
Protecting yourself in any spot
No matter where you sit in a car, you can take steps to stay as safe as possible.
Perhaps the most effective and obvious measure is to always wear your seatbelt. If you are traveling with children, check their belts to ensure they are on and positioned correctly. And be sure they are in the correct seat for their size and age.
Further, keeping your feet on the ground and sitting properly in a seat can make a considerable difference in the type and degree of injuries you may suffer in an accident.
Preventing a crash in the first place
These tips can help you stay safer and survive a serious car accident. However, preventing them in the first place is ideal.
If you are a driver, practicing safe driving habits is the easiest way to avoid a crash. Obey traffic laws and do not drive if you are drunk, drugged, tired or distracted.
If you are a passenger, you can help prevent crashes by refraining from loud, distracting behaviors and assisting the driver by controlling the temperature, music and GPS for them.
These suggestions can help you stay as safe as possible whenever you are in the car.