Sitting Too Close to the Steering Wheel

Vehicle accidents are an all-too-common occurrence across the world. In the United States alone, around 37,000 people die in crashes every year, and an additional 2.35 million people are injured or disabled. Part of what can lead to injury is also easily preventable. For example, some drivers sit incorrectly in the driver’s seat by placing themselves close to the steering wheel. This can be dangerous, however.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both agree that a distance of 10 inches or more from the steering wheel is safe. The danger actually happens when the airbag inflates after a car accident. Airbags inflate with a tremendous amount of force. Research shows that, on average, a steering wheel generates a force of almost 2,000 pounds and expand at around 200 MPH. For people sitting too close to the wheel, this could cause brain damage or severe bruising of the head or chest area.

Part of the reason people sit too close to the wheel is leg length. Shorter people tend to sit closer to the wheel to reach the pedals. In a study conducted by the IIHS, out of 35 airbag-related deaths, 25 of the victims were women who were less than 5-feet-5 inches in height.

If your height requires you to sit too close to the wheel, consider getting pedal extenders, which are available as after-market equipment online and through various auto-parts stores. Make sure to keep safe on the road.

However, if you have been injured on the road through someone else’s negligence, talk to one of our experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Scarlett Law Group. Our founding attorney, Randall H. Scarlett, has been helping people for more than 25 years and has provided top-tier guidance for many clients. Under his direction, our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for catastrophically injured people over the years. We firmly believe that winning a case starts with choosing the right advocate. Let us see how our highly rated attorneys can help. To get a case started, contact us at (415) 688-2176 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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