Safety features in vehicles contribute a great deal to preventing head injuries, doctors have learned. Such factors can be the difference between safety and a debilitating or even fatal injury.
The windshield of a car is a big safety consideration. When made out of materials like laminated glass, it can be made not to shatter into sharp fragments that penetrate the brain or eyes. It seems to have reduced injury in real crashes. Car manufacturers are now looking into ways to make the steering wheel and the hard components of the roof safer in case of a crash. The roof or its supporting pillars are often the cause of head injury, studies have discovered.
When it comes to frontal impacts, the energy of the crash can be greatly reduced by inserting an airbag between the occupant and the force of the impact. Studies have shown that airbags can significantly reduce the risk of death or severe brain injury, not only to unsecured drivers, but to those belted in, as well. Large cars show an even greater advantage when it comes to safety.
There is no doubt that seatbelts do their part to reduce injury and death. Unbelted people are far more likely to sustain an injury than someone wearing a seatbelt. Those most at risk, between the ages of 16 and 24, are particular encouraged to wear seatbelts in public awareness and educational programs. Seatbelts should have a strap that crosses the chest as well as the pelvic band and they should be fitted correctly to prevent injury from the seatbelt itself, doctors have discovered. Police in Manhattan and Westchester are on the lookout for drivers who do not comply.