Passenger Safety

At Airpark Collision Center, we meet with people every day that have been in car accidents.  Sometimes it is a small bumper repair and other times it is major collision damage.  We can repair the car but sometimes the driver or passengers are hurt.  We’d like to share some information and reminders about how to keep you and your family safe!

Did you know that wearing a seatbelt properly can reduce the risk of injury for front seat passengers by at least 45%?  The key is to wear a seat belt, no matter how short the distance of travel and make sure it is being properly worn as stated in your vehicle’s instruction manual.  It is vital to wear the shoulder strap and the lap belt.  Placing the shoulder strap behind your back is not advised.  The shoulder belt prevents your upper body and head from hitting the dash board and steering wheel.  According to Oklahoma University, the shoulder harness alone won’t prevent you from sliding out from beneath.   Some people think if they have airbags, they do not need to wear a seat belt.  Air bags and seat belts were designed to work together; air bags alone are only 12% effective at reducing fatalities.  No matter, how uncomfortable seat belts may be, it is not worth the risk!

Little ones need more protection than a seat belt, but AAA shares that 3 out of 4 child car seats are installed incorrectly! This means even if your child is in a car seat they could still be at risk. AAA recommends reading the child car seat instructions carefully as well as your vehicle’s instruction manual.  Parents can locate a nearby certified technician by calling (866) SEAT-CHECK or checking out the website

Well, we covered adults and kids, but what about our other family members?  Since 2005, pet travel has increased 300% and 98% of dogs are not properly restrained in a moving vehicle.  Did you know that a 60lb dog transforms into a 2,700 pound projectile in a 35 mph crash?  Definitely enough force to cause injury to a driver, passenger and, the pet itself.  There are two main ways to restrain a dog in a motor vehicle: crates and dog seat belts. The crate can stay in place by using your car’s seat belts.  Canine seatbelts are easy to find, there are many styles and designs so you can pick one that is most comfortable for your pet.  Never restrain your pet with your vehicle’s seat belts, as dogs can easily get out or become tangled.

Ok, so we have been reminded about safety restraints, but what about other things that put us at risk?  Talkative passengers, crying children, to electronics can cause an accident in the blink of an eye.  Looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk of being in a crash, reports AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  Drivers are 20 times more likely to be involved in an accident when texting and driving, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.   AAA recommends asking passengers to help you with distractions, such as switching radio stations or answering the phone, etc.   When you compare what could happen to putting off a text or phone call making the right choice is definitely worth it!

Tina Small has been part of the Airpark Collision Center team since 2006. Working directly with customers, her goal is to share frequent customer questions, and proper methods of collision repair.

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