During a traffic accident
In the vehicle
If you are in a vehicle shortly before an accident and you see that a collision is inevitable, try to protect yourself.
If the vehicle behind you is, for some reason, about to collide into your vehicle from the rear, try to push yourself against the back of the seat. Press the back of your head strongly against the headrest. The most serious danger of a collision from the rear is a life-threatening injury of the cervical vertebrae.
If the blow is coming from the front and your seat belt is fastened, try to protect your face and eyes with your arms and hands, which reduces the risk of injury from glass shards.
If there is no seat belt, quickly lie down on the seat to prevent a life-threatening hit against the steering wheel or windscreen.
In vehicles where the rear seats do not have a seat belt, quickly lie down on the seat before the collision.
Consequences and injuries of traffic accidents
Traffic accidents involve very dangerous and complex injuries, which can be very different. Typically, traffic accidents cause multiple bone fractures, tissue cuts, and visceral ruptures. Even if there is no obvious damage at first and if everything seems to be in order, you have to fear the worst. A traffic accident is usually accompanied by a strong impact. In a collision with a seemingly negligible speed of 20 km/h, the impact force exceeds the gravity to person’s body by 6–7 times. A person cannot reduce the consequences of the impact with their own strength.
In the event of a collision of the front of the vehicle with an object, the speed changes sharply. The unexpected braking is reduced by the bending of the vehicle body, the seat belts, airbags, and child safety seats. In the event that the seat belt is not fastened, the movement of the people in the vehicle will continue at the same speed against the steering wheel or dashboard. The severity of the injuries depends on the elasticity of the tissues and the body weight. Typical injuries include chest injuries caused by the steering wheel, head injuries caused by the breakage of the upper part of the windscreen or glass, damage to the cervical vertebrae from the abrupt backward movement of the head, and femoral fractures from the knees hitting the lower edge of the dashboard. The driver’s head hitting against a steering wheel often causes an aortic rupture. Rib and breastbone fractures and heart impact injuries are also typical.
In the case of a rear collision of vehicles, the person’s head is thrown abruptly backward, often causing injury to the cervical vertebrae. To avoid injuries, the seat must have a decent headrest.
In the event of a side impact of vehicles, passengers are usually thrown out of the vehicle, which may result in life-threatening injuries. Other side-impact injuries are caused by a direct mechanical factor. In the event of a vehicle rolling over, passengers will hit their heads against the ceiling of the vehicle, often causing fractures of the cervical vertebrae, but, if the car door opens, the passenger will be thrown out the vehicle.
True, seatbelts can also cause injuries, but they are always less severe than the injuries of those driving without a seat belt. Seat belts can cause rib and clavicle fractures and even liver ruptures.
As a result of a traffic accident, the vehicle may ignite. The main reason for this is leaking fuel or oil and a damaged electrical system. A fire in a vehicle usually starts at the wiring harness in the engine room (risk of sparks). The silencer of the vehicle is just as dangerous, as it has a very high temperature and in the event of a fuel tank leak, the spilled fuel can ignite. As vehicles have enough combustible material (wire insulation, fuel, oils, interior fittings, tyres) and the rate of fire propagation is very high, it is usually not possible to save much upon the arrival of the rescue team.
In summary, it can be said that traffic accidents have very serious consequences, due to many different risk factors, and they are always unpredictable, so it can be argued that it is much easier to prevent them than to cope with the consequences.