The Myth of the Low Speed Collision
True or False, Injuries do not occur in low speed collisions and in collisions with no visible damage.
Watch this video from the National Institute for Highway Safety. Click Here. Listen carefully to what is said about the amount of true amount of damage to the car with a low speed collision.
So can you get injured by a low speed collision? First, here are some of the fallacies used in expert testimony:
- No physical damage to the car means that your client was not injured.
- The collision forces in the accident were well below the possible injury threshold.
- The bumper was not damaged, so your client could not be injured.
- The forces in a low speed collision are like plopping into a soft chair, so your client could not be injured.
Here is what the research says: during low-speed collisions the forces are transmitted directly to the occupant (s) of the vehicle!
The energy from the impact is always
transferred to the occupant (s) of the vehicle. This energy can cause significant injury. Think of playing billiards or pool. When the two pool balls collide, the energy from one is transferred into the other.
As for bumper damage, it is not an accurate indicator of the speed of the collision or the severity of the injury. Remember, bumpers are designed to decrease damage to the car, not to you.
If you are older, weaker, less flexible, have degenerative arthritis, spinal stenosis, these conditions may predispose you to greater injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Seatbelts save lives by preventing occupants from going through the windshield, but increase the acceleration of the spine in auto collisions and contribute to injury.
At Capital Sports Injury Center in Silver Spring and Bethesda, chiropractor Dr. Steven Horwitz has over 25 years experience successfully treating injuries from automobile accidents.