Here’s What Happens to the Body When You Have a Vehicle Accident

Updated on May 5, 2020

Do you wonder what happens to the body when you meet a vehicle accident? Why do some people suffer more severe injuries than others? When you know what to expect, you can pay more attention to the changes and seek medical help as soon as you can.

The Role of Kinetic Energy

Physics laws govern almost everything that happens outside and inside the vehicle. For example, when you stop, you follow one of the basic principles of inertia. When you travel downhill, you are at the mercy of gravity.

Regardless of your speed, when you traverse a highway or road, you deal with energy. You cannot create or destroy it. Instead, it changes form and needs to go somewhere.

Consider a hammer and you. Both of you have potential or stored energy. When you lift it, you are about to transfer or channel potential to kinetic energy. As soon as you hit the nail, potential energy changes to kinetic, which drives the nail into the wall.

A moving car packs a massive amount of kinetic energy, which it needs to move. To stop, you need to transfer this energy by stepping on the brakes. The problem is when you hit an object or a person suddenly, you don’t get to do that fast.

The vehicle can absorb much of the effect of this kinetic energy. But when the level of energy is too high, it can transfer from the body of the car to you. This is when you are likely to suffer from an injury and need an auto accident chiropractor in Lehi.

What Injuries Can You Expect? 

Whiplash is one of the most common vehicle injuries. Also known as a neck sprain or strain, it involves the sudden forward-and-backward motion of the head. In turn, it overstretches the ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

About 2 million Americans suffer from this condition for many reasons, and 25% of them can experience long-term or chronic effects.

Student Edge and Transport Accident Commission also worked together to provide a comprehensive picture of the changes the body experiences upon impact:

  • A frontal crash can increase the pressure to the chest, leaving bruises and pain. It can also break the collarbone and the ribcage. This injury can be severe since ribs can puncture the lungs and the heart. It leads to a condition called pneumothorax, where air fills up the chest cavity, leaving you gasping for breath.
  • Rupture can also happen in the other organs, such as the spleen. Fortunately, you can live without it, but you need fast medical intervention to remove it. If it hits the colon, waste products move around the abdominal cavity.

Depending on the impact, you will see bruises and wounds around your body. However, not all injuries are visible. Take, for example, a head trauma called traumatic brain injury (TBI).

During a frontal crash, for example, it’s not only the neck and the spine that move. So does the brain. As you snap forward and backward, this delicate organ can hit the sides of the skull. Later, it can swell or accumulate blood, leading to neurological symptoms. Some of which are severe and, sadly, irreparable.

Make no mistake about it. Airbags and seatbelts can save lives. In 2016 alone, these belts prevented over 10,000 deaths. However, they cannot guarantee that you won’t sustain any injury. Knowing what can happen will help you prepare for it better.

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