How many Collisions occur When a Vehicle Hits an Object
When people are involved in car accidents, there is more than just one crash every car accident has three separate collisions. Knowing the types of collisions in a car accident can help you understand what kind of injuries occur and how to prevent them.
Three Types of Collisions in a Car Accident
Vehicle: The First Collision
When a motor vehicle hits another car or object, that is the first collision. It’s what most of us think about when we think of car accidents.
When a vehicle hits another object, it rapidly slows down because of the forces involved. Based on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), modern vehicles are designed to absorb much of the energy in a collision. However, people are still likely to get hurt because, while the vehicle stops, the occupants inside may still be in motion.
Human: The Second Collision
Basic physics tells us that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Therefore, the violent energy built up during a car crash must be transferred. While the vehicles themselves absorb a significant amount of kinetic energy during a collision, they don’t absorb it all. As a result, this remaining energy impacts the people inside the vehicle. They continue to move in one direction during the crash until they hit another surface—at this point, their forward momentum is halted.
For example, when you are wearing a seatbelt and an accident occurs, the belt locks in place as you move, preventing you from striking the dashboard or other objects. Your seatbelt appears rigid to the naked eye, but car manufacturers have carefully designed the belts to have a certain amount of stretch to allow some of the kinetic damage to dissipate. Without a seatbelt, the force of the accident could launch you from the vehicle.
Still, a seatbelt cannot protect your head and neck from this force. As a result, accident victims frequently experience head, back, and neck injuries from the force exerted on these areas.
During a car crash, your body could strike several objects in the vehicle, including the dashboard, steering wheel, doors, and other areas. Concussions are very common during collisions. When a person suffers a concussion, their brain is jolted around inside their skull, potentially resulting in tissue and chemical damage.
Neck and Back Injuries
If you have ever experienced whiplash, you know it is a violent, sudden jerking of your neck in different directions. More severe injuries can include spinal damage below the neck due to trauma from the g-forces involved during a crash.
Because that energy must transfer somewhere, your body’s tissues, organs, and bones will also absorb some of the impact, potentially resulting in severe damage.
Internal: The Third Collision
After the first collision, the vehicle you are in and your body begin to slow down, but that’s not the end of the harm you could suffer. Your internal organs continue with momentum from the energy of the crash.
As with your head and neck, your organs also continue to move in the same direction until they encounter an object that stops their movement—your organs could strike your bones or even other organs.
This is why getting medical attention immediately after an accident is so important. Internal damage may not present itself for hours or even days after the accident. Remember, your body may even be in shock after the collision, which would also temporarily prevent you from feeling the full effects of your injuries.
How You Can Reduce the Risk of Car Accident Collision Injuries
There are several simple things you can do to reduce the likelihood of getting seriously hurt during a car crash:
Assume the Correct Position While Driving
Have your seat close enough to the pedals so your legs are bent. If you are involved in a collision, having bent legs will help your body absorb some of the energy from the impact and reduce injury to your lower back.
Stow Loose Belongings
There is a reason airlines always insist on passengers stowing their belongings during takeoffs and landings. Loose items flying around the cabin can strike you and cause any number of injuries.
The same holds in a car. Don’t leave random items on your dashboard on your seats. Safely secure your belongings in the glovebox, trunk, and other parts of the vehicle intended to store such items. In the event of a crash, you will reduce the risk of injury if random items can’t hit you.
Keep Your Child in a Car Seat
Don’t allow children to sit in your lap while the vehicle is in motion. The sudden g-forces associated with a crash will prevent you from holding onto your child, and they can become seriously injured in a car crash. In addition, make sure you are using the correct kind of car seat for your child’s age.
Contact a South Florida Car Accident Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident collision because of another driver’s negligence, Contact us at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today. Florida Statutes § 95.11 may give accident victims four years from the accident date to file a lawsuit, but you will need that time to build a case. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer offers a free case evaluation and can advise you of your legal options. Call (954) 633-8270 to get started.