According to at least one study, drivers below or above average height may have an increased risk of car accident injuries. One reason may be because drivers below average height sit closer to the steering wheel. Safety experts recommend keeping at least ten inches between the driver or passenger and the dashboard so that air bags can work properly. When drivers sit closer, they can be injured when an airbag detonates.
Adults that are below average height also face some of the same challenges as children when they are in a car accident in Homestead or their community. Seat belts can cut into their neck and chest areas, potentially causing injuries in an accident. Seat belts can fail to restrain them. Drivers who are below average height may also have a hard time seeing the road correctly because of their car’s design, and this can increase the chances of an accident.
If you are under 5’4, however, there are things you can do to stay safer when you drive:
1) Choose a car designed for drivers that are below average height.
Consumer Reports has a list of cars that may be safer. Be sure to test drive any car before buying, to make sure that you can adjust it for your height.
2) Adjust every car.
When getting into any car, be sure to push the seat up and adjust the mirrors to maximize how well you can see. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends pushing the driver’s seat as far back as possible. You may need to push your seat up further to see the road clearly.
Keep in mind that you will need to make every car you drive safer. If you are traveling and renting a car, for example, or borrowing a friend’s car, you will need to take steps to ensure that the car is safe for you. When renting, for instance, you may need to look at different models to find one that is right for you. Whenever you drive, take the steps needed to make sure you do not sit too closely to the steering wheel and put yourself at risk.
3) Use the options available.
Steering wheel adjusters can help you position your wheel for maximum comfort and control. Set the wheel slightly tilted downwards so that you can see over it more easily. You can also buy pedal extenders to allow you to drive more easily while sitting further away from the steering wheel.
4) Take the car to an expert.
The same driver rehabilitation specialists who help people make their cars accessible after a serious accident or illness can help drivers under 5’4 make their cars safer. Have a professional evaluate your car and help you find the technology and devices that can make your car accessible.
Have you been injured by a car’s air bag or have you suffered a serious injury due to a mechanical defect? Cars are supposed to be safe for all drivers. If you think a manufacturer’s recklessness led to your injury, contact Flaxman Law Group now for a free, no obligation review of your legal rights. The attorneys at our law firm can help you understand whether you have a legal claim or options for securing compensation for your injuries.