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The physical impact of a crash: The science of an impact

In a car crash, your body is somewhat protected by the frame of the vehicle, airbags and other technology. Nothing can protect you completely, though. Everyone's body suffers some impact, and that impact can have real repercussions for your health.

When you're in a crash, the first thing that happens is that your body has to dissipate kinetic energy. Since your vehicle doesn't do that for you (through putting on the brakes), you instead absorb some of that energy into your body. That energy has to transfer, which means you end up with impact wounds.

At some point, there's an inability for the body to absorb energy from an impact. Up to that point, you don't get hurt. Once you reach that point, you begin to suffer as a result of the crash. For instance, if you're hit going 5 mph, the bump likely isn't to cause any lasting injuries. A 50 mph crash isn't the same; you're more likely to have internal injuries, bruising and other wounds.

The initial crash causes a few issues. In a high-speed crash, it's normal to break your collarbone. The seat belt rests across the bone, which means the sudden impact may result in a fracture. Ribs may break at higher speeds, and if they break in enough places, then your lungs are impacted. Wearing your seat belt correctly won't necessarily prevent injuries, but it will prevent abdominal injuries if you wear it correctly across your pelvis. A seat belt that hits your stomach and abdomen is more likely to damage the organs there, which have no protection against the impact.

After a crash, medical care helps you know the injuries you have, so you can heal better. Your attorney can help you file a claim, so you don't end up covering medical bills caused by someone else.

Source: Student Edge, "Let Science Explain What Happens To Your Body In A Car Crash (It Ain’t Pretty)," accessed March 01, 2018

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