When objects move, they create what is called kinetic energy. The faster we move, the more energy we produce. When we’re driving, our cars accumulate a great deal of kinetic energy. When we tap the brakes, our brake system turns some of that energy into heat. Our car heats up and we slow down.
However, when we are involved in an accident, all of that accumulated kinetic energy doesn’t have the opportunity to safely dissipate as heat. Instead, that energy is absorbed by the car itself, as well as by the drivers and passengers inside.
Auto makers know this, and they specifically design cars to protect us from such potentially harmful energy in an accident.
Likelihood of being injured in a crash
Dr. David Logan is a Senior Research Fellow at Monash University’s Accident Research Center in Melbourne, Australia. He has been studying the scientific effects of auto accidents. In an article published on Student Edge, he states, "The whole purpose of a modern car is to absorb as much of the energy in the structure of the car by deforming the structure of the car and preventing that from going into your body.”
The severity of injuries resulting from an auto accident also depends on other factors, such as where each car was impacted in the accident, how fast each car was traveling and whether or not seat belts were used and airbags were working correctly.
A seatbelt can potentially save your life in an accident, but only if it is used correctly. Seatbelts are designed to go across your lap and diagonally across your chest. In an accident, this allows all of that kinetic energy to be absorbed by the strongest parts of your body – your pelvis and your ribcage – while protecting your most vulnerable organs.
Seatbelts are designed to prevent life-threatening injuries, not all injuries – and they can only do so much. If you are involved in a frontal collision while wearing a seatbelt, you are likely to sustain:
- A broken collarbone (right side on drivers and left side on passengers)
- Broken ribs
- Potential lung damage caused by broken ribs
- Potential damage to internal organs
Get medical help and contact our law firm today
If you were involved in an accident, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney at Coplan & Crane. We have been helping injured motorists for years and we can help you too. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. That means that you pay us nothing unless you win. We believe that every injured person deserves help. If you have been injured, contact us today.