When assessing injury in patients after a MVA, should speed of the impact be considered? Here is what Arthur Croft, DC, MS, MPH, FACO of the Spine Research Institute of San Diego has to say:
“Here, the relationship between property damage and injury risk is nonlinear. In the lower velocity range, vehicles are relatively stiff, the collisions more elastic. In engineering parlance, there is a relatively higher coefficient of restitution in lower velocity crashes. Then, as crash velocity increases, so too does the amount of residual crush of the vehicle. Interestingly, though, the actual risk to the occupants decreases as this occurs. This has been demonstrated in several studies. So, over this range of crash velocities, there is no good correlation between injury risk, injury severity, or long-term outcome and property damage. This is, of course, an important distinction to understand.”
Here is an article which explains how insurance companies are perpetuating the myth that injurie are not likely at low impact: DISPELLING THE MYTHS THAT YOU CANNOT BE INJURED IN A “LOW IMPACT” AUTO ACCIDENT
Great article laying out the truth about low impact injuries: Soft Tissue Injuries From A Low Impact Auto Accident
The research is overwhelming in showing that injuries and even death can occur in low impact crashes.
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How many times have you driven over a speed bump, hit a curb because you cut the turn too close, or made the mistake of hitting the cement blockers because you had it in drive instead of reverse? OK, I’ve done all of those, and here recently. Your body jolts, it knocks your sunglasses crooked, moves your rear view mirror, your can of corn is now on the floorboard, and changes the trajectory of your A/C vents to name a few. You then feel a tightness in your neck and low back because your body was knocked around just like the above mentioned. How fast were you going? Below 5 miles per hour in these cases. Now let’s put this in perspective, it was your tires hitting these objects and taking the brunt of the blow and your impact was delayed. Imagine hitting a non movable surface at the same speed, like a brick wall, and think about how much more of an impact that would be, all your groceries would be be all over the place, not just the can of corn. It’s easy to see how, in this circumstance, your neck would snap back and forth, your back would now take the energy from the force of impact, and your body parts could hit the inside of the vehicle.
Low impact injuries are often disputed by insurance companies, but are proven every day in the Doctor’s office. In the next few postings, I’m gonna give you research, that proves how injuries occur, and even causes death in accidents below 10mph, how about 528 fatalities in Florida alone in one year.
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