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What Happens to the Human Body During a Car Accident?

Published Date: 
April 16, 2017
A woman in a neck brace.

Not every car crash is the same, which is why some escape it with a few abrasions, while others would acquire brain injuries that would last for a lifetime. Different factors can influence how much a car accident can affect you, such as the speed you’re going, whether you’re the driver or the passenger, and what exactly hit you, among others. To better understand what happens to you in a crash, here are the different kinds of crashes and how each can impact the human body.

The Rear-ender

Tailgating often results to a rear-end crash which could then cause severe injuries to the chest, head, neck, and spine. Passengers on the back may be badly hurt too if the car gets dented due to the force. Furthermore, low-velocity crashes can produce whiplashes which happen when the head suddenly jolts backwards or forwards. Whiplashes usually have delayed symptoms which may only be felt 24 hours or more after the accident. Some whiplash symptoms are neck pain, tenderness at the shoulder, and difficulty in moving the neck and/or shoulders.

The T-bone Accident

T-bone crashes, in which a vehicle gets hit on the side, may produce serious injuries even at low speeds, while a vehicle moving at 30 kilometer per hour can lead to severe injuries. People who get struck at the side tend to have injuries at the chest, lower extremities, head, and abdomen areas, while those who are on the non-struck part of the car would most likely have head and chest injuries. These injuries particularly occur when victims are hit by a door panel or other passengers inside the vehicle.

The Head-on Collision

Two automobiles that hit each other head to head usually have drivers or passengers with chest and lower extremity injuries. Without a seatbelt, occupants frequently experience head injuries apart from facial, chest, and lower limb wounds. These injuries may be due to hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, side windows, or instrument panel and are worsened when people don’t wear seatbelts.

Running off the Road or Multiple Crashes

Running off the road and rolling over create severe injuries too, especially the upper part of the body and the chest. Multiple-impact accidents tend to result in severely injured hands, arms, and shoulders as well as head, face, and chest. Occupants hit the door and the roof during rollovers, whereas being ejected leads to severe head and chest injuries.

The angle and position by which you are hit in a car crash can produce minor to major injuries. If you’ve been in a car accident, make sure to have a medical check up even if you think you’re feeling fine as some injuries or symptoms develop after a day or so. The earlier you know what your injuries are, the earlier you can get proper treatment as well. A chiropractic may be able to help create an alternative or complementary treatment plan for you.


“Side Impact Accidents,”


Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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