Take Our Accident Prevention Quiz
Doing all you can to keep you and your family free from accidental injury?
Hospital emergency rooms tend to be well-equipped, efficient places, but you don’t want to visit one if you don’t have to. So keep those thumbs away from that power saw, check your home for frayed electrical cords, and take the quiz below for a quick accident-prevention review.
“The two biggest causes of the preventable accidents we see are motor-vehicle collisions (among younger adults) and falls (among adults age 55 and over),” says Elizabeth Corcoran, coordinator of Westchester Medical Center’s Injury Prevention and Outreach Program, which aims to reduce injuries from these accidents. Therefore, while a prudent lifestyle warrants many kinds of safety precautions, we’ve focused our highly selective quiz on those two danger areas. Check the boxes below if you can truthfully make these statements:
1 “I’m always an attentive driver.” That means you never talk or text on your phone behind the wheel, says Corcoran—and you also avoid eating, drinking and reaching for objects while driving. “A recent report suggested that 80 percent of car crashes were caused by distracted drivers,” she says.
2 “I don’t speed.” The faster you’re going, the more severe your injuries will be if there’s a sudden collision.
3 “I keep my vehicle well maintained and make adjustments prior to getting under way.” That means putting in gas and oil promptly when needed, keeping tires at an adequate pressure and adjusting mirrors and setting temperature controls before you start driving.
4 “I always wear my seat belt when I drive or ride in a car.” This is an easy one, right? “When you’re in an accident without a seat belt, the risk of death increases by 45 percent,” says Corcoran, “and that of serious injury by 50 percent.”
5 “I regularly check out all my medications— including those prescribed by specialists— with my primary care doctor.” You don’t have to be behind the wheel to have an injury-causing accident; it can happen in a simple fall at home, especially if you’re over 55. And side effects of medications—particularly when medications for different problems are taken concurrently—can make falls more likely. “We encourage people to review all their meds periodically with their doctor,” says Corcoran. “He or she may be able to wean them off those that increase the risk of falls.”
6 “I exercise regularly.” The stronger and more flexible you are, the smaller your chances of a fall. “Regular walking, swimming, yoga and tai chi are all great exercise options to build strength and flexibility,” says Corcoran.
7 “I keep my home fall-proofed.” “Remove hazards on stairways, hallways and walkways,” counsels Corcoran. “Make sure your home is well lighted, and if there are any seniors living there, install grab bars in the bathroom and non-slip pads or carpets on stairs.”
How you rate:
7 boxes checked: Good for you.
0–6 boxes checked: Shape up!
This isn’t one of those quizzes where you can congratulate yourself on a less-than-perfect score. If you failed to mark even one box, improve your safety habits now. We at Westchester Medical Center are justly proud of our Emergency Department. But we would prefer never to see you here.
To learn more about preventing injuries by visiting the injury prevention page of Westchester Medical Center’s website at westchestermedicalcenter.com/injury-prevention.