If you’ve ever ridden in a car with minimal space, you probably know how uncomfortable it can be. Some people accommodate by placing their legs and feet up on the dashboard. Others hang their legs out of a window or sit cross-legged.
No matter which of these ways you sit, you should know that doing so puts you at a greater risk of serious injury. In a collision, it’s possible to suffer from a traumatic amputation if your legs or arms are outside of the vehicle. It’s possible to have severe lacerations from your feet and legs going through the windshield, too.
Sitting upright is safer for you
The way a vehicle’s safety system is designed is to protect you in the case of a crash. The seatbelt goes across strong areas of the body, like the shoulder and pelvis, so it can hold you in place with a low risk of causing serious injuries.
If you’re not sitting up correctly, there is a greater risk that the seatbelt could cut into the abdomen. The force of a collision could break ribs, cause damage to the internal organs and more.
It is particularly important for the driver to sit correctly, as sitting correctly gives them more control over the vehicle and reduces the likelihood of a serious crash occurring.
How should you sit when you’re in a vehicle?
When you’re in a car, you should try to sit centered in your seat. Sit upright, so the lap belt is low on the lap and across the hip bones. The belt anchor, the part that crosses your body, should cross at the middle of the left collarbone if you’re driving and right collarbone if you’re in the front passenger’s seat.
It’s best if your feet are placed firmly on the ground in front of you. For drivers, there is an established foot rest for the left foot. The right should be gently rested against the pedals.
These are a few tips to help you be safer in a vehicle. If you crash, sitting correctly may help minimize the injuries you suffer.