If you have ever been in a car crash you know that the moment of impact seems to superficially slow down time. You see your life in slow motion as the vehicles collide in an instant.
The human body is not built for high-speed impact. Though an amazing machine, damage is easily done. Even if bones do not break and internal injuries are avoided you may still end up with what is known as soft tissue damage. It can be very painful and very hard to prove in court in order to get a decent settlement after an accident.
The speed of impact for both vehicles is factored in when looking at the collateral damage possible.
In 2011a study was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In that study, they found that the fatality rate substantially rises as speed increases.
15MPH and Under – at low speeds the risk of bodily injury is relatively low. You may dent, ding, and scratch up your car or truck and a visit to your chiropractor is still a good idea just to make sure you didn’t cause any subluxations (misalignments) but you are likely, overall, ok.
25MPH to 35MPH – At these speeds, the death toll goes up. This can include pedestrians killed by moving vehicles. Your body is jarred harder to a sudden stop, muscle and ligament tearing becomes more likely as does the risk of the airbag deploying or hitting your head sideways on the window. Whiplash is now a possibility as well causing damage to the neck region.
35MPH and Upwards – For every 10MPH you drive faster, the kinetic energy increases exponentially. Modern cars are designed to absorb as much of the shock as possible, but so far it is just not possible to design one that can withstand all of it and so you, the driver (and the passengers) end up taking a good brunt of the energy release which propels you quickly forwards and then whipping backward as the vehicle abruptly comes to a standstill. If you flip or roll, there are even more factors at play.
Most common injuries
The first to go is usually a collarbone because of the seatbelt configuration.
After that comes rib injuries. If too many ribs crack, you may puncture a lung. It’s vital to wear seatbelts correctly or they can cause injuries.
With side impact, you see much worse injuries to the Thorax and upper body and pelvic fractures are also common.
Improper use of seatbelt (wearing it at wrong levels or not across your shoulder at all) can cause internal injuries to be far more likely.
Best advice? Stay safe and drive the speed limit. Stay off your phone, texting included, watch the road. If you do get in an accident, call your chiropractor right away after being examined and released from the ER.
You may also contact Dr. Kaster right here in the SWFL area directly through his app at the time of the accident as well as inform the authorities of the situation. To learn more or download the app visit http://drkasters.com/web-app-download. Call us today for an appointment! 239-332-2555 www.drkasters.com.