Be Car Ready, Feet Steady: Tips on Safely Getting In and Out of Your Car

Don't fall getting in or out of your car. Follow these steps to stay on your feet.

graphic showing someone getting out of vehicle

GETTING IN

  • Backside in first. Stand with your back to the car and lower yourself carefully, so you don't hit your head. Hold on for balance.
  • Rotate and slide in your feet. If you have weaker legs, you may need to lift in your feet.

GETTING OUT

  • Don't rush. Rotate and slide feet out. Check that your seat belt is clear of your arm and your head is clear of the doorway.
  • Plant your feet for balance, with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Raise yourself up. If you are grabbing onto an object to help get yourself out of the car, make sure it is not going to move.
graphic showing someone getting into vehicle

ALWAYS REMEMBER

  • Look for hazards before you move. Take notice of icy, wet or uneven surfaces that could cause you to trip.
  • Make room to move. Move your seat and tilt the steering wheel to give yourself more room. Make sure your arm is not tangled in the seatbelt.
  • Secure walkers, canes, and similar items. They can become airborne and cause injury during a sudden stop or crash.
  • Hold on. If you are more comfortable getting in or out front side first, keep your balance by having three of your four limbs in contact with the car or ground.

MORE INFORMATION

Special thanks to Donna Stressel, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, Schenectady, for sharing her expertise to craft these graphics and messages.