Sometimes, despite your efforts to drive safely, an auto accident happens. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk of serious injury if a collision occurs.

Try these strategies to protect yourself in case of a car accident.

Wear a seatbelt correctly

You should always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Drivers should also make sure that passengers wear their safety restraints. The device fits properly when the bottom belt goes across your lap and the top belt runs from your shoulder to your upper torso, not across your neck.

Know when driving is unsafe

Avoid getting behind the wheel even if you only had one drink, or traveling with another driver who has been drinking. Any amount of alcohol may affect a person’s ability to drive.

Some individuals do not realize when they no longer have the ability to drive because of aging or medical issues. You have a higher risk for an accident if you have difficulty seeing even with glasses or contacts, you have trouble hearing car horns or sirens, you have circulation problems that cause numbness in your hands or feet or you cannot check your blind spot because of inability to turn your neck.

Steer clear of driving distractions

Smartphones and other electronic devices take driver attention off the wheel, often leading to serious auto accidents. Kentucky prohibits drivers from reading, writing and sending electronic messages, including texts, social media posts and emails. However, device use behind the wheel is not the only driving distraction to avoid. Eating, applying makeup or engaging in conversations with passengers also contribute to dangerous incidents.

Adjust your position

Having the car’s head rest level with the top of your head helps protect the neck from whiplash injuries. Position your seat at least 10 inches from the steering wheel to avoid airbag impact injury.

You cannot control the actions of other drivers on the road, but you can use these leading practices to stay as safe as possible.