How to Prevent Whiplash! (Part 2)
SEAT BELTS: It has been estimated that in Canada alone, if all drivers and passengers wore their seat belts, 300 road fatalities could be avoided each year! Seat belts have always been considered the BEST way to protect against injury or death in a car crash. These typically cross the lap and chest and prevent the occupant from being ejected or thrown about inside the vehicle in an accident. Here are some important points to remember: 1) wear a lap/shoulder belt system whenever possible; 2) sit up straight, positioning the lap belt low over the pelvic bones/hips, NOT over the stomach; 3) place the shoulder harness over the shoulder, across the chest, and NEVER place the belt under the arm or behind the back; 4) all occupants must wear a seat belt regardless if the vehicle is moving or not; and 5) a pregnant occupant should place the lap belt over the pelvic bones below the baby, not over or above the stomach/baby.
ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEMS (ABS): Here, electronic controls stop your wheels from locking up when the brake pedal is forcibly pressed to help the driver maintain control on rough, wet, and slippery surfaces. This helps prevent skidding and can result in a shorter stopping distance. An ABS can also help drivers more safely steer around what they’re heading towards while allowing for maximum braking pressure. Tips include: 1) HOLD / DON’T PUMP the brake pedal firmly; 2) keep steering around objects while fully braking; 3) DO NOT expect the braking distance to be shorter; 4) have the ABS inspected at the recommended number of miles noted in your vehicle’s manual; and 5) MOST IMPORTANT, stay a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead of you – NO TAILGAITING!
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