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Can I increase my chances of surviving a car crash?

While some collisions are just so forceful that they may be unsurvivable, there are some potential lifesaving tips that may increase your chances of surviving both the initial impact and its aftermath.

Whenever possible, drive and ride in new vehicles with all of the safety options added to them. The more safety features a vehicle has, the greater protection it can offer to occupants.

Whenever possible, avoid collisions in the center of the vehicle's side areas, as there are fewer supports and protections in those areas.

Bending your head forward can cause deployed air bags to damage your fragile neck area. While it can seem counter-intuitive, if an accident is imminent, don't attempt to duck or move out of your normal upright position, as the vehicle's safety systems are designed to protect you best in normal driving and riding positions.

Bringing your face closer down to the steering wheel can cause more damage to your neck and head areas from deployed air bags than remaining upright.

If you are the driver, keep gripping the wheel, and if you are a passenger, grasp the headrest and prepare for impact.

After the collision, fire can be the deadliest hazard. Get yourself and all passengers well away from a smoking vehicle in case it explodes.

If your accident was caused by another driver's negligence, you can pursue compensation by filing a claim for damages. Many times the insurance company will offer a settlement; it is always best to have your attorney review any settlement offers first to make sure they are equitable. Should that not be the case, your attorney can file a civil suit in the Illinois courts.

Source: Extreme Survive, "Car Crash Survival," accessed July 29, 2016

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