Low Speed Rear Impact Collision Facts
Research Indicates These Collisions are the Most Likely Type of Car Accidents to Cause a Neck Injury. And Here's Why:
When two vehicles collide energy is transferred from one to the other. In simplest terms, when you're at a stop light and another car smacks you from behind, that car transfers its energy into your car. That energy then travels from your bumper, through the chassis of your car, into your seat and eventually into your body. You experience that energy as a jolt or sudden jerk. That sudden movement causes damage to your spine. Medical researchers have figured out a precise energy number at which live test subjects could be injured in a rear impact collision and that number is surprisingly low.
A Typical Car Accident with Vehicle Damage
Again for simplicity, let's say the car that hits you has 10 units of energy to potentially transfer to your car. Now let's say the other cars bumper crushes and that releases 2 units of energy that does not transfer to your car. We now have 8 units left. Your bumper and bodywork crumples as it's designed to do and it absorbs 5 units. There are now only 3 units of energy left that travels to your body and causes a quick but slight jerk to your neck. That slight jerk might still be enough to hurt your neck because researchers have found that it only takes 2.5 units of energy to damage a ligament.
Let's take our same example with the car hitting you with a potential of only 8 units of energy because it was driving slower. It strikes your car, but this time the cars collide and there is no crush in either of the bumpers. The cars hit and bounce. That action might only release 2 units between the cars because there is no crushing which releases energy, and so it sends 6 units of energy into your body. That is double the energy from the other example and that has the potential to cause even more injury. So even though there was less energy to begin with and no vehicle damage, your body experiences twice as much damaging energy.
No 2 Crashes Are the Same
There are so many variables to a motor vehicle collision that it is impossible to compare one to another. The types, sizes, weights, speeds of vehicles make a difference. The age, gender, physical fitness, positioning and awareness of the occupants matters. The temperature, condition of pavement, slope of road and more play a role. All of this information and more needs to analyzed to get a true picture of a crash and relate it to potential forces that could cause injury. The auto insurance adjuster will take a quick look at a bumper photo and make a snap judgement. That is not only wrong it is fraudulent. Nobody can make such an assessment off of a simple photo.
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