19 Life-Saving Facts That Everyone Should Know

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Just about everyone knows that you should never text and drive, and that you should stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire.

But life can also throw situations at us for which we don't have a quick, handy response.

Commenters in a recent Quora thread about life-saving facts offered their best tips, which are easy to remember and could have a huge impact if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.

You might want to save these for later.

Your brain can't handle walking and using your phone at the same time — so look up

Flickr / Robert Couse-Baker

Safety adviser Murali Krishnan points out that walking and using your phone both demand large amounts of cognitive effort. 

As a result, you can't fully focus on both at the same time in the same way you can with walking and gum-chewing, for instance. You'll suffer "inattention blindness," where you may see an object but not process that it's a car speeding toward you.

Eliminate your car's blind spots by adjusting your mirrors properly

Reuters/Olivia Harris

Blind spots aren't inevitable in all vehicles, argues user Kristen Rush. 

By adjusting your mirrors so that you barely see the edges of your own car, you can effectively eliminate the blind spots on the sides of the vehicle. The rear-view mirror should be able to locate any car behind yours. It's worth the few seconds it takes to adjust these when you get in the driver's seat.

Heat transfers faster through liquid than gas, so keep warm by staying dry

Flickr/beautifulcataya

There's a connection between being wet and getting cold, and vice versa for heat, says engineer Lia Lavoie

To ensure your body temperature doesn't fall too quickly in cold environments, invest in clothes made of wool instead of cotton — they'll absorb more moisture so that dampness doesn't linger on your skin. And, of course, do your best to stay dry.

Don't eat snow for hydration unless you absolutely have to

Brian Cavan/Flickr

Lavoie also points out that your body uses a great deal of energy to convert matter from one state to another.

That's why he says you should only eat snow as a substitute for water as a last resort. In gaining that small amount of hydration, you'll give up precious body heat.

If your plane makes a water landing, your best bet is to inflate your life jacket after you exit the plane

Flickr / Barbara Eckstein

User Alvin Yip warns against the impulse to inflate your life jacket immediately if a plane is making an emergency landing on water. The water that could rush into the cabin makes it harder to move if you're more buoyant. 

So swim to an exit, then inflate your jacket to stay afloat.

You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself

Wikimedia Commons

Few people realize that they don't need someone else to dislodge a piece of food from their throat.

Naman Mitruka explains how to perform the Heimlich on yourself:

  1. Form a fist with your stronger hand below your rib cage and just above the navel. Place your other palm over the fist to push more firmly.

    2. Drive your fist in and up in the diaphragm area (the top of your stomach) forcefully and repeat several times until the object that's stuck in your throat gets dislodged.
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