When a car crash happens, knowing how to react can be the difference between life and death.

At The Wiser Driver Driving School, we focus on providing essential survival tips that everyone should know.

In this guide, you’ll learn practical steps to take before, during, and after a crash.

Stay informed and stay safe.

How To Prepare Yourself For A Car Crash

Wearing Seat Belts the Right Way

Wearing a seat belt correctly is non-negotiable for car crash survival. Seat belts can reduce the risk of death by up to 50% and protect you from severe injuries. Ensure the belt lies flat across your chest and over your pelvis, not your stomach. Pregnant women should place the lap belt under the belly, across the hips. Never tuck the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back. This simple step drastically increases your chances of walking away from a crash.

Secure Loose Items

Loose items inside a vehicle can become deadly projectiles during a crash. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that heavy objects can cause significant injuries even in low-speed collisions. Always store heavy items in the trunk and use storage bins for smaller items. Avoid placing anything on the rear window shelf. These precautions keep both the driver and passengers safer by minimizing potential hazards within the car.

Know Your Car’s Safety Features

Understanding the safety features of your car can be a game-changer in an emergency. Modern vehicles come with advanced features like anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), and airbags. ABS helps maintain steering control during hard braking, preventing skids. ESC reduces the risk of rollover accidents by maintaining vehicle stability. Regularly check the functionality of these systems during routine maintenance. If your car includes features like lane-departure warnings or automated braking, familiarize yourself with how they work and when they are most effective.

How Safe Are You Without a Seat Belt?

Staying informed about these critical safety measures and implementing them every time you drive can significantly improve your chances of surviving a crash. Proper preparation ahead of time, including maintaining a safe following distance, creates a safer driving environment for everyone in the vehicle.

What to Do During a Crash

Adopting the Proper Bracing Position

When a crash is inevitable, assume the safest position to mitigate injuries. Keep your back against the seat and your head against the headrest. Push your feet flat on the floor to brace yourself. In an impact, this position can reduce the risk of whiplash and other severe injuries. If you see the collision coming, grip the steering wheel with both hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions. This grip allows the airbags to deploy correctly and prevents further injuries to your arms and face.

Avoiding Dangerous Movements

Avoid sudden or panicked movements during a crash. Quick, jerky actions can lead to more severe injuries. Instead, try to remain as stable as possible. For example, don’t lean forward or twist your body to shield others; this can result in broken ribs or severe spinal damage. Staying in your seat and maintaining your position helps the vehicle’s safety systems – such as seat belts and airbags – to work effectively, providing maximum protection.

Maintaining Awareness of Your Surroundings

Even in the chaos of a crash, stay aware of your surroundings. Know where other vehicles and obstacles are to anticipate additional impacts. Keeping an eye on your environment lets you make quick, informed decisions that can minimize harm. If possible, steer towards softer obstacles like bushes instead of harder ones like walls. This choice can significantly reduce the force of impact. Awareness also includes monitoring internal hazards – ensure that all passengers maintain their positions and avoid interfering with safety devices.

Fact - How Can You Reduce Injury in a Car Crash?

Stay attentive and composed during a crash to maximize your safety and those of your passengers. For more on staying aware of traffic conditions and potential hazards, visit The Wiser Driver Driving School.

What to Do After a Crash

Immediately following a crash, it’s critical to take swift and deliberate actions to minimize harm and ensure everyone’s safety.

Checking for Injuries and Calling for Help

The first step after a crash is to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Look for signs like pain, bleeding, or inability to move certain body parts. Even if injuries appear minor, prioritize calling 911. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that timely medical intervention can significantly reduce the severity of injuries.

Fact - What should you do immediately after a crash?

If you are able, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the accident. Move your vehicle to the side of the road if it’s safe to do so. Staying inside the car might be safer, especially if the crash happened on a busy freeway.

Providing First Aid if Necessary

If someone is injured and you’re confident in providing first aid, do so while waiting for emergency responders. Use a first-aid kit to address minor cuts and scrapes. Keep injured parties calm and still. Do not attempt to move anyone with severe injuries unless there is imminent danger, such as a car fire.

Knowing basic first aid, such as how to control bleeding and treat shock, can make a crucial difference. A report by the American Red Cross indicates that immediate first aid can double the chances of survival in severe cases. Always keep a stocked first-aid kit in your vehicle.

Gathering Important Information for Reporting

Accurate documentation is essential after a crash. Collect information from all involved parties, including names, contact information, insurance details, and license plate numbers. Take photos of the scene, vehicle positions, and any damages. These details are vital for insurance claims and potential legal matters.

Additionally, gather witness statements if there are any bystanders. Their accounts can be invaluable for the police report and insurance investigation. Do not discuss fault with other parties; leave that to the authorities and insurance adjusters.

Notifying your insurance company promptly can also expedite the claims process. Providing all collected information accurately helps avoid delays in getting your vehicle repaired and medical expenses covered. Maintaining a safe following distance could have helped prevent the accident in the first place.


Being prepared for a car crash and knowing how to react can make all the difference. Properly wearing seat belts, securing loose items, and understanding your car’s safety features are key steps to protect yourself and others. During a crash, adopt the proper bracing position and avoid sudden movements to reduce injuries. After a crash, check for injuries, call for help, and gather important information for reporting.

Fact - Are You Maximizing Your Car Safety?

Staying calm and prepared is vital in these situations. Practicing safety measures regularly can greatly enhance your ability to handle emergencies effectively. At The Wiser Driver Driving School, we emphasize these principles in our comprehensive programs. Whether you’re looking for personalized driving lessons, defensive driving courses, or convenient road testing services, we’re here to boost your driving confidence.

Take the next step in safe driving with us. Learn more about our professional and reputable instruction at The Wiser Driver Driving School. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe on the road.