Car Safety

From airbags to tire pressure and more, The Doctors provides top tips to stay safe behind the wheel.

Air Bag Safety
Air bags in automobiles have saved lives and prevented countless serious injuries; however, the safety devices can cause severe injury or death to children if they are in the passenger seat at the time of an accident. Children account for more than 60 percent of air bag deaths in the United States.

Air bags deploy at velocities upward of 200 mph. "Those bags, when they're deployed, can cause burns and cuts. They can break bones, because the force is so great," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says.

Avoid Air Bag Injuries
• Always wear a seat belt
• Sit at least 10 inches from the steering wheel
• Drive with hands positioned at the lower section of the steering wheel (4 and 8 o'clock)
• Always place infants in car seats in the back seat
• Children should sit in the back seat until age 12

Car Safety Tips
Car enthusiast and host of HGTV's Overhaulin', Adrienne Janic, shares vital tips about what you should keep inside your car in case of an emergency. Also, to help prevent whiplash, make sure your headrest is level with the top of your ears.

Learn the top spring driving dangers and how to stay safe on the road.
Tire Safety Tips
Host of TLC's Overhaulin'
Adrienne Janic, shares the top five tire tips for keeping you and your family safe on the road.

Check Tire Pressure at least Once a Month
Underinflated tires make your car less gas efficient and harder to handle, while overinflated tires can cause tire failure. If you're not sure what the pressure should be, check your driver's side doorframe or look in the glove box for the pound per square inch (PSI) number and make sure all four wheels are on target.

2. Check Tires for Wear and Damage Try the coin test! Take a quarter and put it in the tread crevice on several areas of your tire. If you can see all of George Washington's head, your tread is running low, and it's time for a tire replacement. Be sure to also look for cracks, bulges and mesh wearing through the tire, as well as foreign objects like nails, glass and rocks. If you find anything that doesn't belong, have your car checked by a mechanic.

3. Rotate Your Tires Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles, or per your owner's manual to get the best life out of your tires.

4. Keep Your Wheels Aligned and BalancedImproper alignment can cause a "thumping" feeling while driving, making your ride uncomfortable and causing uneven tread wear on the tires and other parts of your car. Going over a pothole or hitting a curb can throw off your car's balance and alignment, so it's important to drive cautiously to preserve the life of your wheels.

5. Don't be Intimidated by Your CarKnowing enough about how to keep you and your family safe is crucial for times when there's no one there to help.

• Keyless car systems allow you to start a car without putting a key into the ignition, but if you forget to push the button to turn it off, it could have life-threatening consequences. The Doctors explain the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from a still-running car, and the warning signs to look for. 

Should crash-test dummies weigh more?

Germ-Free Car Wash Tips

• Arrive early Ask for fresh towels • Clean surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes Remove all food and drink from your car

Public Car Wash = Dirtier Car?
When you go to the car wash, you expect to get your vehicle back cleaner than you left it. But that doesn't always happen.

The Doctors tested a car for germs before and after visiting a car wash and found that after the wash, the car was contaminated with sewage bacteria. Dr. Travis also tests a car wash rag to see how dirty it is. See the results!

"But I think the take home for this is," Dr. Travis says, "this is just proof that bacteria is everywhere, you need to be cognizant of it. Use common sense. It's OK to go get your car washed."

Hybrid Cars
Hybrid cars are great for the environment, but are they great for your health? Hybrid cars have higher electromagnetic fields (EMFs) than ordinary cars, but Lawrence Gust, an EMR radiation safety advisor, says the jury is still out on whether people should worry about them or not.

Electromagnetic fields are generated by man-made sources such as electricity, radio waves and other forms of technology, as well as natural phenomena such as thunderstorms.