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When you’re trying to bug-out, you’ve got to take into consideration that there’ll be hundreds of other cars on the road trying to escape, as well. Cars most likely driven by panicked, nervous people who might lose their temper and the control of their vehicle anytime. So even if you’re calm and secure, you need to be extra careful about other drivers on the road, as they could get you and your family into a serious accident before you even get to blink.
Now, the crucial thing about avoiding accidents (or avoiding getting hurt during accidents) is to know exactly what course of action the situation requires and how to time it perfectly. This takes knowledge, good reflexes and a little bit of practice, but it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Once you know the basic rules and start practising in your day-to-day driving, you’ll see your reflexes improving, which will help you in any survival situation.
So here are the Golden Rules of car crash survival. Take mental notes and try some of them out next time you take your car out for a drive.
#1: Prepare yourself mentally for a difficult, risky road
When you have to deal with a disaster or social chaos, stress and panic are your biggest enemies. They make you act irrationally and take on-the-spot decisions that may not be the best choice for you and your family. Especially when you’re on the road, stuck in a car with hundreds of other people around you that are probably just as hectic as you are (or even more so).
That’s why it’s very important to get in the emergency driving mindset before you bug out. Remind yourself that everyone else on the road is freaking out and it’s like jumping into a flock of sheep chased by wolves. Calm yourself down, breathe in deeply a few times and quickly go through the Golden Rules of emergency driving in your mind. The recap will act as a visualizing process, which will help you “switch on” your reflexes and turn up your focus
#2: Speed-check your car before you go
Before you leave the driveway, make sure your car can get you through the disaster. Here’s what you should check:
– Are your tires in good shape?
– Is there any problem with your headlights?
– Does you car make any strange sounds when you start it?
– Do you have any objects in the car that could hurt you in case of an accident? (Ff you do, throw them out or put them in the glove compartment. You don’t want to be hit in the head by flying debris inside your own car.)
– Do you have enough gas?
Don’t leave home without checking all these things unless your life depends on it. It’s better to take every measure possible to minimize the chances of getting severely hurt during an accident than to rush to the highway just to get away faster.
#3: Wear your seatbelt properly
Don’t ever wear the lap belt only. In case of a crash, your spine will suffer a great deal of damage and you could also bang your head on the wheel or get injured by airbags. Make sure your chest belt goes straight across your chest, for full protection.
#4: Adjust your position
Your driving position determines the type and severity of injuries during a car crash. Here’s the correct way to drive and protect your body at the same time:
– Your headrest must be right above your ears. Adjust it to the right position if it’s lower, otherwise, you may break your neck during an accident.
– You must be at least six inches away from the wheel at all times. Don’t lean down over it, because your chest will be vulnerable to serious injuries caused either by the wheel or by airbags.
– Sit straight, even if it may feel uncomfortable at first. Every time you loosen your muscles and your spine starts curving, remind yourself to sit straight. This way, you’ll get used to this position and you won’t find it unnatural anymore. Try to get over the uncomfortable part that may occur the first few times. Remember it’s better to get sore muscles than broken ribs and punctured lungs.
– Keep your wrists straight, not bent. This will help you prevent wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel, which is quite painful and would prevent you from moving your arms and hands right. And that’s the last thing you want when your life is on the line.
– Hold the wheel to the nine o’clock and three o’clock position. If you hold your hands to the ten o’clock and two o’clock position, the airbags might throw your arms in your face. Plus, this position will force you to keep your muscles contracted for better control of the wheel, which is exactly what you need during emergency driving.
#5: Anticipate other drivers’ moves
The best way to escape an accident unharmed is to pay extra attention to what the drivers around you are doing and anticipate an accident before your car gets hit.
If you see your car is about to get crashed, don’t hit the break. Usually, that will make you lose control of the car. Steer to the right of the road. Normally, there should be more space on the right, especially for cases like this.
If you have enough room and the situation requires it, you can also pull a bootlegger’s turn.
Here’s how it works:
“If you need to make a 180 degree turn from a potential accident, maintain your forward speed as long as you can- aim for 45 mph at least. When you’re ready to take the bootlegger’s turn, a few things have to happen almost simultaneously.
First, grab your emergency brake with one hand or stab the emergency pedal on the floorboard with your non-driving foot. Keep your hand near the brake release. At the same time you apply the emergency brake, steer the car completely to the left or right. Steer hard and fast. The car should skid forward and then turn sharply. The rear or the car should slide around, leaving you facing in the opposite direction. Release the emergency brake and accelerate quickly, avoiding oncoming traffic. This maneuver will get you out of harm’s way faster than most other turns you could make.”
Don’t forget to practice these techniques every time you get the chance to, to speed up your reflexes and get used to extreme driving conditions. Stay safe!
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