Have you ever been in a fender bender and woke up the next morning in pain? There is a scientific reason why our bodies hurt after a car accident, and it has to do with kinetic energy.
Although modern cars are designed to absorb some of this energy in a crash, the human body usually absorbs some of this energy as well.
Stiffness and soreness can show up hours or days after a car accident, but some delayed symptoms can indicate very serious injuries. These include:
- Headache: concussion, whiplash, brain injury
- Abdominal Pain: internal bleeding, damaged organs
- Back pain: spinal injury, ligament damage
However, there are many who do not get the chance to walk away from a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2016 suggests that nearly 40,000 people die each year from injuries sustained in a car accident, and another 4.6 million suffer other devastating injuries.
Seatbelts save lives, and their importance in keeping the occupants of a vehicle safe cannot be overstated. Seatbelts are another way to help the human body avoid absorbing energy in a crash. But seatbelts that are worn incorrectly can do more harm than good.
For example, if the lap belt is resting on the abdomen instead of the hips, a high-impact collision could cause the fabric to literally cut into delicate organs located in this area.
Make sure seatbelts are secured properly and stay secured by following the below tips:
- The shoulder harness should be worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal slack.
- The lap belt should be adjusted so that after fastening, it snugly lies low across the hips.
- Stay seated upright with your back against the seat and feet on the floor.
Airbags are designed to work with the seatbelt to further absorb energy by either stopping or slowing down the human body from propelling forward in a crash.
In fact, the NHTSA data from 1987 to 2015 suggests that frontal airbags alone saved 44,869 lives. That breaks down to approximately 1500 people per year.
However, defective airbags have received national attention lately, and an unfortunate consequence of this is that passengers may sustain worse injury from an airbag explosion than from the crash itself.
Common injuries caused by exploding airbags include:
- Broken facial bones
- Severe brain trauma
- Spinal injuries
- Collapsed ribs
- Internal damage.
Even airbags that are working properly have been known to cause injuries due to the force involved when deployed. Drivers can protect themselves and their passengers from airbag injuries by making sure all passengers are seated properly, and children under 13 are riding in the back seat.
Additionally, replacing all airbags after a crash, even if they did not deploy, can reduce the risk of a malfunction in the future.
Finally, those who own or operate a vehicle included on the Takata air bag-affected vehicles list, should make an appointment with their dealer as soon as possible to address it.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann and Wall, LLC Help Those Injured in Car Accidents
If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, contact a dedicated Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann and Wall, LLC. Our legal team will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to heal and move on with your life. For a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. Conveniently located in Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly represent clients throughout Delaware, including Dover, Middletown and Newark, as well as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.