The Moment of Impact: The Forces at Work in Car Accidents

Red car with dented door and front fenderGetting into a car accident is a traumatic event, even if you sustain only minor injuries. Because we all drive cars every day and to almost everywhere we need to go, we tend to forget just how serious a car accident can be. Cars are heavy, high-mass objects and are capable of generating a tremendous amount of force. Thankfully, modern safety features do a tremendous job of keeping us safe, but injuries can and do still occur. In this post, we’ll break down some of the forces involved in the most common types of car accidents.  

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions with another vehicle are perhaps the scariest car accident to be involved in. The impact can look and feel like an explosion – the force of each vehicle is being exerted against the other, essentially doubling the energy produced by the collision. Imagine what it would be like to drive into a brick wall at 30 miles per hour – a head-on collision with another vehicle traveling at the same speed would be twice as bad. As a result, head-on collisions can result in very serious injuries – broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and even death.  

Broadside Collisions (“T-Bone”)

A broadside collision is one where the front of one vehicle strikes another vehicle in the side.  The energy produced by broadside collisions may not be as explosive as a head-on collision, but can still be massive and result in serious injury. The risk of injury is especially serious for the one who was broadsided, and even more so when there was someone sitting at the point of impact. Side-impact airbags help, but a broadside injury exerts a lot of force to the side of the body where the vehicle is struck, often resulting in broken arms or legs and even ribs. Perhaps even more serious, the collision causes the head and neck to engage in a violent side-to-side motion that can lead to serious injury. As a result, whiplash, concussions, and other traumatic brain injuries are a serious concern in broadside collisions.  

Rear-end Collisions

A rear-end collision is one where one vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle. They often happen when the vehicle that is struck is stopped, either at a light or in traffic, but can also occur when both vehicles are moving. While rear-end collisions may seem like nothing to worry about, the collision can exert forces that can result in serious injury. The most common injury is whiplash – all of that force pushes the body forward and then results in the head and neck snapping backward. Concussions are also somewhat common.  Regardless, the faster the car striking the other car is going, the great the force produced, and the more likely it is that you will be injured.

Contact an Atlanta Area Car Accident Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident of any kind, a lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to put your life back together. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd help car accident victims across the state of Georgia, and we can help you too. Call us at 404-255-6677 or send us an email in order to schedule a free consultation.

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