A car accident at any speed has a profound impact on your body. Whether you experience a hit from the side, the back or even head-on, forces generated by the impact transfer to your body. What happens to your body in an accident?
When a moving car gets hit, the exertion on the body is tremendous.
Energy in motion tends to stay in motion
When you are tooling around behind the wheel of your car, you are moving at the same speed as your car. Even though you are sitting still, the laws of physics and energy state that you are exerting kinetic energy, the energy of motion.
When something forces kinetic energy to stop suddenly, as in an accident, that active energy has to go somewhere before the car stops. The design of modern vehicles allows the machines to take the brunt of that negative energy and absorb it through the various elements of the car. This is one reason why after an accident, a vehicle may look completely totaled, but the occupants do not have a scratch.
When the car cannot stop all the force
In some accidents, the vehicle cannot take in all the energy, and it moves inside to the occupants. This usually occurs through the seat belt when the body lurches forward, and the seat belt stops it. The design of a seat belt allows the absorbed energy to place pressure on the torso and pelvis, the strongest parts. In those instances where people do not wear seat belts, the body will continue moving forward until it hits something, usually the steering wheel or windshield. In this example, the injuries are life-threatening.
The most common injury in an accident is whiplash followed by a bruised or broken collarbone caused by the seat belt. When walking away from a collision with bumps and bruises, even if they are a nuisance, thank your car for taking the brunt of the damage.