The physics of a car crash

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A car in motion moves at a certain speed in a particular direction; the people and objects inside also move at that same speed and direction. Once an outside force changes the speed and direction of the car, the intensity of the energy transfer determines how severely everything and everyone around will be affected with respect to their ability to resist the outside force.

The fatalities and injuries from a car accident do not only happen from the vehicular collision. These collisions and the traumas that follow are the consequences of the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred. The magnitude of the crash is the result of the transfer of energy.

What are the types of collisions in a car accident?

The dangers of car accidents are not immediately visible because of the physics involved. We should understand how many other elements contribute to fatality.

Below are the three types of collisions:

  • Vehicular collision: This is when the car strikes or crashes into another object, causing the car to slow down and then come to an abrupt and horrifying stop. The vehicle could have hit a person, a large animal, a tree, another vehicle or even a wall. The faster the car was going, the stronger the impact of the crash. The larger the mass of the vehicle or object, the more serious the resulting injuries.
  • Human collision: The vehicle is not the only thing in motion, the driver and passengers are too. They are moving as fast as the car, so when the car strikes something, a force pushes or pulls the people in the car. If there are multiple passengers inside a vehicle, they can collide with each other. If the passengers are not wearing a seatbelt, the force could be strong enough to throw their bodies out of the car.
  • Internal collision: Because our bodies are in motion, so are our organs, tissues and bones. They are the passengers, and we are the car. When a car crashes into a massive commercial truck or even a concrete wall, the severity of the impact could cause internal bleeding or even blunt force trauma.

Because the number of fatalities caused by car collisions is at an all-time high in New Jersey, it is wise to have a more learned appreciation of the mechanics behind them.

From physics to the physician

In a vehicular collision, you can sustain a concussion to other head and back injuries. The collisions after the vehicular collision can be more deadly. What is worse is that they are not visible to the naked eye. You may not even know that you broke your ribs or ruptured your spleen in the accident. As much as possible, get medical attention even if you think the impact was not that strong.