What Happens to Your Body When You Get Hit by a Car?

Every year, 2.3 million people end up injured due to car accidents. During a car accident, your body is violently shaken resulting in damages and injuries.  Some of the most common injuries include broken bones, burns, head and neck trauma, brain injuries, and back and spinal cord trauma. The severity of injuries sustained on bodies in a car crash will depend on varying factors, such as speed, seatbelt use, and type of collision.  Below, we’ll take a look at the different chains of events in a car crash. In each case, we’ll discuss what happens to your body when you get hit by a car

Adrenaline rush

One of the first things that happen to your body in a bad car crash is the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is a type of hormone that is released under times of sudden stress. It prepares the human body for a response of ‘fight or flight.’ Adrenaline will affect your body in a crash in the following ways:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Feeling less or no pain
  • Increased awareness and heightened senses
  • Rapid heart rate
  • More stamina and feeling stronger
  • Dilated pupils

While an adrenaline rush can be of great help immediately after a car accident, it can also be a bit deceptive. Since adrenaline masks the feeling of pain, you may not realize you’ve succumbed to injury right after a car crash. That’s why it’s important always to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you don’t feel any pain. Injuries may not present itself till days later. By the time you realize it, seeking injury compensation from your insurance company may be too late.

What happens: head-on collision

What happens to your body when you get hit by a car head-on? When the car is moving forward at a certain speed, your body also is traveling at the same speed. For example, if you’re driving at 65 mph, your body is also traversing at 65 mph. In a head-on collision, both the car and your body decelerates at a rapid pace from 65 to 0 mph.  This deceleration results in a huge energy transfer that is shared between the car and those within the car. The energy transfer manifests itself through damages and injuries to the vehicle and passengers. In terms of injuries, we’ll see what exactly happens to bodies in a car accident both with and without a seatbelt:

With a seatbelt

A seatbelt will prevent you from smashing into the steering wheel or front glass. It is meant to save lives. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be injured. Common injuries with a seatbelt include:

  • Broken collar bone
  • Broken ribs
  • Collapsed lung
  • Internal injuries

Without a seatbelt

Choosing not to wear a seatbelt can result in serious injuries and death. Since there is no seatbelt to restrain you, your kinetic energy continues forward until it hits either the steering wheel, dashboard, or windscreen. In the worst of cases, you can even be ejected from the vehicle. In 2008, the survival rate of being ejected from a car was only 23%. 

What happens: rear-end collision

During a rear-end collision, your vehicle seats absorb a large amount of energy as occupants are forced backward. Arguably one of the most vulnerable parts of your body is at risk in this type of collision—your head. Upon impact, your head snaps violently backward, possibly resulting in a variety of neck and head injuries including:

  • Concussion: A concussion occurs when direct trauma to the head takes place or experiences of rapid acceleration-deceleration. Concussions can cause temporary loss of brain function, including confusion, blurriness of vision, difficulty concentrating, headaches, or dizziness.
  • Soft tissue: The sudden back and forth movement can cause soft tissue damage to the neck, such as tearing of tendons, ligaments, or muscles. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury and is one of the most common car accident injuries sustained among drivers.
  • Herniated disc: This type of injury occurs when the padding between your vertebrae slips out and onto your spinal cord. You’ll feel arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling, and weakness in the neck area.
  • Compression fracture: Compression fracture is a serious injury involving the collapse of a bone in the spine. Back pain can be quite severe, and numbness in arms and legs are not uncommon.

What happens: T-bone collision

What happens to your body after a car accident from the side (or t-bone) collision? Side or t-bone collisions can be one of the most deadly types of crashes, even at low speeds. When hit on the side, there is only your car door in between you and the other vehicle. Unless your car has side airbags, there is very little in the way to absorb the energy from the impact. The potential for your body to be literally crushed is that much higher in a t-bone collision. If your body was in a car accident of this nature, some potential injuries could include:

  • Crushing of body (including internal organ damage)
  • Thorax, pelvis, and upper body injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and spinal injuries as the neck is whipped to the side
  • Head injuries from potentially smashing into the side window

Valiente Mott

As you can see, the possibilities of what happens to your body when you get hit by a car are endless. Depending on the nature of the accident, you can sustain severe and even fatal injuries. Whether it’s serious or minor, if you’ve sustained an injury, contact the Las Vegas car accident attorney team at Valiente Mott today. We are a team of legal experts that will help you navigate through the complicated legal process. We also help you deal with insurance claims so you can get the most out of your injury settlement. If you are seeking experienced attorneys in Nevada or Utah call us today for a FREE Consultation!

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