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Last Modified: March 1, 2023

Cars Can Be Dangerous, Even When You’re Not on the Road

Published on January 25, 2016 • Last updated March 1, 2023 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Being Safe in Utah (General Safety), Car Safety, Children & Accidents

You’ve heard it before: cars can be dangerous. But they may be even more dangerous than you think. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “during 2011 and 2012, an estimated 647,000 people were injured in non-crash incidents involving motor vehicles.” This means that staying safe in and around cars requires more than just a seatbelt. Stay aware of the risks. Here are three ways to prevent the most common threats around vehicles.

Table of Contents

Don’t Idle

Carbon monoxide poisoning from vehicle exhaust kills approximately 126 people every year. While carbon monoxide poisoning is very unusual, it’s important to take steps towards prevention. Always turn your car off once you’ve pulled into the garage, and never stand directly behind a running car. If you’re worried about carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, consider investing in a carbon monoxide detector. The greatest benefit to not idling your care is the reduced amount of pollution that will result. Especially in Utah, we are hyper-aware of the disgusting ‘inversion’ that plagues our otherwise beautiful vistas.

Keep Cool

Every year, 19 children die from heatstroke due to being left in a hot car. It can often seem like no big deal to leave the kids in the car for just a few minutes, but doing so in any situation is very dangerous. Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, and on a warm summer day, a car can reach deadly temperatures in just 10 minutes. If you see a child sitting alone in a hot car, don’t just look the other way. If the child is still responsive, wait outside of the car with them while you send someone else to search for the parents. If the child is unresponsive and the car is unlocked, remove him or her from the car and spray them with cool water. If the doors are locked and you can’t reach the child, call 911.

Watch Your Head

The majority of injuries in non-crash incidents (32%) occur when people are hit by closing doors, trunk lids, or other vehicle parts. While these incidents are rarely fatal, it’s important to pay attention. Save yourself a concussion and watch your head.

Your safety and wellbeing are important to us, so please pay attention—not only inside of your car but around it as well. If you have been hurt in a car accident and need help, please let us know by filling out the consultation form on this page or by calling us at (801) 506-0800.

Photo copyright to State Farm

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