What happens after: how to stay safe after a car accident

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Lexi Baumann, Staff Writer

According to the Ohio Public Department of Safety the state has recorded a total of 269,082 traffic crashes, and on April 15 I added one to that large 2015 traffic report.

Around 9 p.m. I prematurely made a left turn into on-coming traffic.  I was not texting, changing the music, or taking my attention off of the road; I believed I had the right of way to cross the road in a left hand turn when I actually did not.

The following is how I stayed safe through the crash and how you can do the same if you were in my situation.

All drivers and passengers should wear their seatbelt at all times.  My seatbelt restricted my body from colliding with the steering wheel, airbag, and possibly the windshield of my car.

Always make sure the airbags in your car are in working order.  If airbags are not supplied in the car in an accident, it is possible to be injured by colliding with the steering wheel or windshield.

My car airbags deployed on impact, leaving me with a rash on my arms.  I was lucky to escape with only a rash as airbags can sometimes break noses or other bones if you are seated too close to the steering wheel or grab the steering wheel incorrectly.

After the initial crash, all passengers should stay where they are sitting as it is possible to have received spinal damage.  If a passenger moves his or her head or neck the wrong way, it could lead to paralysis.

After deemed safe to exit the vehicle, drivers should get out on the side where there is no on-coming traffic and call emergency services immediately.

Drivers should also go to a safe part of the road and move their cars if possible to clear the road for incoming traffic.

If all of these suggestions are followed, both drivers can escape the crash with minor injuries.

All of these accidents can be prevented by following the rules of the road.  Staying safe by not texting, having minimal extra passengers in the car, and paying attention can contribute to others and your safety.