6 Tips to Survive a Car Crash

The most obvious ways to survive a car crash are to remain calm and use a seat belt. If an accident is imminent, keep these 6 tips in mind.
Written by Jason Unrau
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
In 2019,
car accidents
were responsible for roughly
38,680 fatalities
on American roads.
Hopefully, you never have to experience a bad car crash. But if you find yourself in the middle of one, your decision-making within the next few seconds could save your life. Make sure you take the right precautions and know what to do in the moment to increase your odds of survival.
That being said, what safety procedures can keep drivers protected in a car accident? And, once a crash is imminent, what measures will increase the odds of survival? Here are five tips to help you survive a car accident, presented by
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings (100% Free)

1. Sit as far back from the steering wheel as possible

Airbags are a safety device designed to protect you from major injuries in a collision. But if you’re sitting too close to the steering wheel, it can hit you with too much force, which could potentially cause more injuries than it prevents.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) recommends people sit at least 10 inches back from the steering wheel. In the event of a car crash, that distance will allow the airbag to fully deploy before you make contact with it.
Children should never sit in the front seat because the force of the deploying airbag could potentially cause severe injury or even death in some cases.

2. Wear a seat belt

In a collision, the
Center for Disease Control
(CDC) found that front-seat occupants are 45% less likely to succumb to injuries in a
when they’re wearing a seat belt. Not to mention, the risk of serious injury is cut in half. It goes without saying, wearing your seat belt is easily the most effective way to survive a car accident.
Likewise, make sure children's booster seats and car seats are always connected to seat belts. You can find the information on how to properly attach them on the back of the seat or in the owner's manual.

3. Keep your safety equipment in working order

Your car’s safety equipment includes a range of systems including the tires, brakes, anti-lock brakes, airbags, and more.
Keeping your car in good shape
will not only keep your
car insurance
company happy, it can also help mitigate the effects of a major accident (which could mean the difference between life and death).
For example, driving on an old tire that is ready to blow could be extremely dangerous, especially if you're driving at highway speeds.

4. Subscribe to in-vehicle emergency services

There are services that alert emergency services when an accident is detected. General Motors vehicles have OnStar, for example.
Should you be seriously hurt in a collision, you may not be able to reach your phone and call for help. If your vehicle has automatic 911 assist capabilities, it can summon crews that will come to your rescue.
Make sure that you're subscribed to an emergency services or that your vehicle has 911 assist capabilities to help you survive a car accident.

5. Remain as calm as possible

Time seems to slow down when an accident is imminent. If you find yourself about to get into a collision, try to keep yourself as calm and controlled as possible.
Jerking the steering wheel at a high speed could result in your car rolling over or potentially swerving into oncoming traffic. If you stay calm, you're more likely to make rational decisions that could potentially save your life.

6. Reduce your speed

When an accident seems inevitable, reducing your speed will reduce the potential impact. You may need to slam on the brakes as hard as you can or use a guardrail to create extra drag.
The less impact you make with another car or object, the better your chances of surviving with as few injuries as possible.
Hopefully, you never have to experience a bad accident. But just in case, it's a good idea to get all the right car insurance cover to protect you.
can help with medical payments, and collision insurance is a great idea to protect your car.
is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy.
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
icon savingsSaved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
icon savingsSaved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
icon savingsSaved $668 annually
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry (It’s 100% Free)

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free