Consequences of a Car Accident
You have heard the saying, “Accidents happen.” In truth, they do. As human beings, we are prone to mistakes and incidents, however, most accidents can be bigger than others. Consequences of mistakes can be life altering and cause serious damage, physically and psychologically. For example, the human innovation of vehicles have made a huge impact on society. Instead of traveling days on horseback, we have evolved to transport ourselves with a motor and four wheels. This amazing invention, however, has seen downsides. In just the last five years, there is an average of five million car accidents recorded. In 2015, there was over six million car crashes recorded. It was also recently published that almost 200,000 people die from fatal injuries from car crashes every year — that is one person every three minutes! Obviously, the mortality rate is high with car crashes, but why? Well, we are human, and prone to miscalculations. We are easily distracted or believe we can multitask while driving. Worse, some of us believe that driving under the influence is okay and can be done without being noticed. Because we can easily make these terrible mistakes, our cars make them with us — after all, we are driving the several tons of sharp metal around town.
What makes car accidents exceedingly dangerous is the weight of the vehicle, the material of the vehicle, and the speed in which the car is going. Even a crash wherein the cars are only going 20 miles per hour can have intense consequences.
Why Do We Get Injured in a Car Accident?
Part of the reason why there are so many consequences to car accidents is because of the motion of the vehicle during a hit. Ultimately, there are three factors that will determine the extent of the injuries in a car accident.
- Speed of the Car
- What the Car Hits
- Were the People in the Car Protected?
Speed of the Car: The speed of the car is monumentally important to a crash. If the car is maintaining relatively low speeds, there will not be as much damage to the vehicle or the passengers inside of it. However, if the car crashes at high speeds, there is more energy exerted which will result in a hard “whiplash.” Whiplash is a term to describe the motion of objects when they are jerked or undergo an impact. In the case of a vehicle, the people in the car will experience a “brace” when the car is initially breaking and bracing for impact. If there is no brace, the car will make impact at full speed. When this happens, the passengers in the car will physically jerk forward and then their seatbelts will pull them back into their seats. Airbags, too, will help keep passengers in their seats during a collision. It takes the collision sensors in your vehicle 1.198 seconds to detect a collision. In less time than it takes to blink, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is allerted and the car’s speed will naturally stop on impact. At the same time, your seatbelt works 0.020 seconds before a collision. So, even before your vehicle has made contact, your seatbelt has been activated to protect you. The issue with the speed of a vehicle is that the faster the speed, the bigger the whiplash. A large whiplash could be damaging for your spine and neck, as your body is at the mercy of the force of the vehicle.
What the Car Hits:
Depending on what you hit with your car, the impact could be different. For example, hitting a contact car while you both are at similar high speeds, facing the same direction, will not cause serious injuring. It is only when the two vehicles are facing different ways, at different speeds, that an accident could become serious. More importantly, what type of car you hit will also make a difference. For example, two compact cars in an accident can be disastrous enough, but if a car hits a semi-trailer, or a large truck, the crash could become deadly very quickly. What you hit during an accident is important because it will determine how much energy is in the crash and how it can be dispersed. For example, hitting a tree at high speeds is very deadly because the energy from the impact has nowhere to go. Instead of having two opposing energies, your one vehicle is going straight into a body that has no potential energy (a standing tree).
Was the People in the Car Protected?:
By protection, we mean seatbelt, safety sensors, and airbags. These three essential pieces of safety can mean the difference between life and death. Even a minor crash has the capability of being deadly if the bodies in each vehicle are not stabilized. Much of the injuries related to crashes are because people are thrown around in their vehicles. Worse, if the car accident has enough speed, you could be ejected from the vehicle. When you are not wearing a seatbelt and the impact put you through the windshield, you are 30 percent more likely to die from the impact.
How Massage Therapy Can Help
When it comes to vehicle crashes, whiplash, movement in the car, and ejections can cause severe injuries to both your physical body and your mental state. If you have insurance, you can be offered both mental and physical therapy due to the extent of the crash. You can decline both if you wish. However, physical therapy at a chiropractic practice is important. Many times during a crash, your adrenaline spikes in order to brace for impact. You won’t be able to notice your injuries until at least 48 hours after an impact. It is natural to be sore the day after a crash. However, if injuries and soreness persist, you may need to see a professional.
Sometimes, accidents can cause severe stress, which can take a toll on your muscles. One of the best ways to treat sore or strained muscles is with massage therapy. Not only will the massage help relax your mind and spirit, but the techniques will ease your tensed muscles.
Though it may seem that massage therapy is only for treating yourself, it can be extremely beneficial if you suffer from tightness in your back.
Core Chiropractic and Wellness
If you live in Bakersfield and need help loosening up muscles in your back and neck, our practice is where to go! In our practice we specialize in both chiropractic care and deep-tissue massage therapy. If you are the victim of an accident, don’t let yourself suffer with the after-effects of the accident. Get professional help to relieve your pain. Contact us today.