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.
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.
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 will absorb more moisture so that dampness doesn't linger on your skin. And, of course, do your best to stay dry.
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.
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.
Few people realise 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.
Survivalists have a shorthand for knowing their limits, Ruchin Agarwal says.
People can generally go three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in extreme weather environments, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Ruchin Agarwal also explains that people should never use water to put out grease fires. The water molecules sink to the bottom of the hot pan, evaporate instantly, and shoot the flames even higher.
Instead, you can put an oil fire out by cutting the heat and taking away the oxygen.
Sharma also explains the well-studied psychological phenomenon in which crowds of people fail to help somebody because they all think someone else will intervene.
If you're not too hurt to call out for help, pick one person and direct your pleas to them. You'll be more likely to get the aid you need.
Instead of carrying mace or a weapon, an extremely bright flashlight could ward off a mugger just as effectively, user Sanket Shah claims.
'If you have someone approaching you that seems aggressive, in the gravest extreme, a blast of 300+ lumen to the eyes (especially at night) will give you the opportunity to get out,' he says. 'And suppose you miss-read the situation; no one is really harmed and you can't get in trouble for it.'
Condoms are incredibly elastic. As user Janis Butevics points out, you can use that to your advantage if you need a quick way to store large volumes of water. They essentially act like bladders and are capable of holding a gallon of water.
'They can also be used to protect against water, as a stretchable cover for valuable items like matches and walkie-talkies,' Butevics says.
When local governments send out warnings about natural disasters, many people stay put even when told to evacuate. As John Ewing explains, psychologists call the phenomenon the 'normalcy bias.' It refers to people's tendency to think everything will turn out OK even when they're clearly in danger.
Ewing says people can break out of their normalcy bias cycle by locating multiple exits when they're out in public, such as at the movies or out to eat. Mentally preparing themselves to act if a dangerous situation arises will train them to be vigilant.
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