Three Dangerous Car Misconceptions about Safety

Your safety is not only affected by what you do, but also by what you believe. Making decisions and taking actions on false beliefs can cause serious injury or worse. Read the following car misconceptions about safety. Which of these do you believe in?

My Air Bags Will Protect Me in Any Accident

Your airbags are just one of several safety components in your car that reduce your risk of serious injury. They don’t reduce the risk to zero. They only work when using your seat-belts because they won’t restrain and keep you where you belong: sitting upright on your seat.

If you’re in a small car and collide head-on with a vehicle that’s several times your weight, the air bag may protect your face but won’t do much for the rest of your body if the driver or passenger areas are heavily damaged. It’s a law of physics that when two bodies collide, the smaller body undergoes more violent velocity changes than the larger one.

My Big Vehicle Will Keep Me Safe in an Accident

For some accidents involving collisions with smaller vehicles, your larger size improves your outcome at the expense of the occupants of the other car. However, if the collision causes your vehicle to go off the road, rollover, deflect into the path of several other vehicles, or get wrapped around a tree, your size won’t matter.

There are many types of accidents where your large size doesn’t enter into the equation. In some instances, your size may work against you if your center of gravity is higher than that of a small car. A high center of gravity means you’re more likely to roll over when sliding sideways into a curb at a high speed or when rounding a corner during a tire blowout.

Slow Driving Is Safe Driving

The destructive energy of a crash increases by the square of your speed. Doubling your speed quadruples the energy that rips a car apart when hitting a concrete wall. So yes, driving slower reduces the damage from colliding with something.

However, driving safety is more complicated than that. If you are driving 30 mph slower than the rest of the traffic on a high-speed interstate, you become a traffic obstruction. This increases your risk of getting hit or causing another car to lose control. This is especially true today where many motorists are either distracted by their mobile devices or engaged in aggressive driving. Keep up with the traffic in your lane.

If your car needs repair or maintenance services, contact us at Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center.


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