The S.E. Farris Law Firm is very experienced in representing those injured in car accidents. Throughout the St. Louis area, thousands of people are hurt or killed in auto accidents every year. 80% of all crashes involve distracted driving according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. These numbers are concerning because many accidents could have been prevented.
Unfortunately, distracted drivers often don’t realize the danger they are placing themselves and others in when they reach for the phone or lose focus. It is important to understand the potential injuries that can result from a car accident.
Cars moving at high speeds are inherently dangerous
At the risk of sounding like a high school science teacher, learning the physics of a crash can be informative. When a vehicle is struck, the vehicle absorbs energy but the occupants can move at a higher rate of speed than the vehicle. Modern vehicles are designed to spread the crash energy around the vehicle so that less is absorbed by the humans inside.
Kinetic energy is the energy that an object in motion possesses. When a car is speeding down an interstate like I-55 at 80 miles per hour and collides with another vehicle, an enormous amount of kinetic energy is transferred to the other vehicle. The human body cannot withstand such forces without serious injury.
Inertia is the tendency of a body in motion to stay in motion. When your car gets stopped from hitting another vehicle, tree, or any other resistant object, the people inside remain in motion. Airbags and seatbelts are designed to absorb some of this force and spread it across a person’s body rather than focusing it on the head or neck area and preventing contact with the steering wheel or windshield.
What kind of injuries can happen?
The nature of someone’s injuries depends on the type of crash. The seatbelt is designed to exert the force needed to stop the body from moving forward by loading the force on the pelvis and shoulders and away from the organs and ribcage. That is why it should extend from the collarbone down across the relatively fortified rib cage and sit directly upon the bony pelvis instead of the soft abdomen. If the seatbelt does cut into your abdomen, it may rupture the internal organs causing problems that may be life-threatening.
In a crash, one of the most vulnerable areas is the brain. There are no internal structures in your skull anchoring the brain in place. Therefore when the body experiences high-speed collisions, the brain gets rocked violently against the front of the skull in a contrecoup or counter strike motion. Concussions and more serious brain injuries occur without ever breaking the skull although a skull fracture is also common in high-speed impacts. Closed head injuries are difficult to diagnose in some cases and require prompt medical attention.
Drivers in Missouri must use the “highest degree of care” when driving. If you get hurt due to someone else’s inattention or neglect, they are liable. The S.E. Farris Law Firm is committed to recovering your losses for you after a car crash.