Often times, shorter drivers tend to sit too close to the steering column. They may need to be closer in order to be able to have access to all the functions of the vehicle when needed and to see the road clearly.
Sitting too close to your steering wheel can be a very dangerous practice. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opines that the appropriate distance to be maintained between the driver and the steering should be at least 10 inches. How many drivers are aware of this rule, how many maintain it and why should you consult a Central Florida car accident attorney if you are involved in an accident involving this situation?
Risks Associated With Sitting Too Close To the Steering Wheel In The Case of Accident
In the event of an accident, the driver may be thrust forward by the abrupt halt in forward momentum. This may lead to hitting the head or chest against the steering wheel, especially when sitting too far forward. The resulting injuries could be bruises, internal damage, loss of concussions, broken bones or even death in extreme circumstances.
The greatest risk in sitting too close to the steering wheel, however, lies in the deployment of the airbag. Airbags are meant to protect people during car accidents, but, unfortunately, they need space in order to expand and be most effective in saving the life of the driver or passenger. Sitting too close to your steering wheel, therefore, exposes you to the danger of receiving over 2, 000 pounds of force that the airbag can exert. The entire impact the inflation of the airbag creates is automatically absorbed by the driver of the vehicle; the results of which can be physically devastating.
Furthermore, sitting too close to the steering wheel during an accident might cause the driver to have lacerations and cuts from shattered windshield or dashboard, and can more easily trap the driver if the front of the car collapses. Should you or a loved one be involved in a car accident, call me, David R. Heil, as your Florida personal injury lawyer so I can answer any questions that you may have involving the insurance side of the accident. I have offices in Melbourne, DeLand, Winter Park and Orlando. Dealing with insurance companies and the involved parties can be overwhelming and stressful after such a traumatic incident.
At Heil Law, I believe that some Central Florida car accidents are preventable
- You can reduce the physical consequences of a car accident by not sitting too close to your steering wheel and adjusting your seat belt properly.
- Many drivers are not aware that they can adjust the steering wheels of their cars to suit their stature, rather than sitting too close to the steering wheel. You may be saving your life by merely adjusting that steering wheel.
- There are pedal extenders available that can help you maneuver your car easily without endangering your life. These days, adjustable pedals are also built into many modern cars, which allow short drivers to adjust gas, clutch or brake pedals easily.
- The simple act of adjusting the back of your driver’s seat (in order to enable you to sit up straighter) may help in the event of an auto accident.
- You can tilt your steering wheel to a suitable angle to keep the airbag pointed toward your sternum and not your head or neck.
- Finally, consider seeking the assistance of experts to help you find the best way to drive safely and comfortably without sitting too close to your steering wheel.
At David Heil P.A., my primary concern is your safety. These tips will hopefully help you avoid certain injuries associated with car accidents, but not all of them. If you are involved in an accident, and once your health and wellbeing have been addressed, you should seek the assistance of myself, David R. Heil, an Orlando car accident injury lawyer, to ensure you are properly represented. I offer free consultations and do not charge any fees unless I win your case.
Due to the unpredictability of driving and the actions of others on the road, if you or any of your loved ones are involved in a car accident you should quickly consider seeking the guidance of a personal injury attorney. As a car accident attorney with over 33 years of experience, I am available 24/7 to help you deal with insurance companies and the subsequent claim process that can be confusing and time-consuming.