Following are 5 tips for women to follow to reduce the chance of injury (or worse) while driving:
- Sit as far away from the steering wheel as you can and don't put anything (children, pets, whatever) between you and the air bag
- Leave nothing loose in the car that you wouldn't want to hit you in the face if you're in a crash or rollover, and that includes the low fat, double foam, half caf, extra tall coffee.
- Keep your gas tank as full as you can so you can drive to safety or for help without having to stop, and to use for heat, light and information if you break down or get stuck in a storm.
- Stash an extra car key in something that you always carry so you won't be locked out because you left the primary keys inside the car, or on a restaurant table.
- If there's a pregnant woman in the car, keep the speed as low as possible to reduce the potential danger to the unborn child.
There's a lot more to car safety than those famous, and largely useless, car crash ratings. And you don't have to be in a crash to get injured. Being in a hard braking situation is much more common and these do not even make it to a statistical chart as no one reports them. But just look at your own driving life - do the math and it is certain hard braking will come out far ahead of crashes. Being hit in the head from behind by a large library book might just knock you out and increase the chance that more danger will befall. Finding yourself alone in a dark parking lot without your car keys is a seriously scary thought.
Women can easily take precautions like the ones listed above to improve their chances of sustaining major harm whether they are in hard braking situations or in fender benders or in more serious crashes. This is just a sampling of the advice that is available.
Susan Winlaw is co-author of the book Car Advice For Women (and Smart Men) which is sold exclusively at http://www.CarAdviceForWomen.com and through the news site for women's interests regarding vehicles at http://www.CarNewsForWomen.com . Many more safety tips (and ones on fuel economy and tackling the purchase of a new car and other fiscal and family issues) are available in the book. The news site keeps track of the latest articles involving safety and other car related issues. They are posted in one location so it is easy to stay current on the topic that is always listed as most important to women as reported by women.