Factors in a Rear-End Crash that Lead to Long-Term Whiplash Injuries

If you've been in a rear-end crash, you know how painful it can be to wake up the next morning and feel the effects of the crash on your back and neck. While some crashes can cause long-term pain, others might leave you feeling fine in a matter of days or weeks. One team of researchers sought to look at what factors in a crash caused long-term effects or more serious whiplash-related disorders in victims.

Research into the physical effects of car and truck accidents on vehicle occupants has historically been difficult to do, since ethical considerations make it so that researchers cannot cause serious car accidents in a laboratory setting. However, now that vehicle black boxes, or event data recorders, have become common fixtures in new vehicles, it is easier to study what happened in a crash and relate those facts to the seriousness of the injuries of the occupants. These devices constantly monitor speed, acceleration, and braking in vehicles, and will permanently record this information when a car experiences a sufficiently serious impact which causes the airbags to deploy or nearly deploy.

In the aforementioned study, conducted using data gathered by a Swedish car insurance carrier from the event data recorders in customers' vehicles, the research team looked at what factors tended to be present where a vehicle occupant was diagnosed with a serious whiplash-associated disorder, or experienced the effects of whiplash for a month or longer. The researchers found that, the more severe the crash (determined by looking at the change in velocity and mean acceleration of the car), the longer the victim's symptoms tended to last. The researchers also determined that acceleration, or how quickly the car increased from a lower to a higher speed, tended to be more closely related to severe whiplash injuries than the change in the car's velocity, or how much faster the car was going after it was hit, versus before. This information can assist car manufacturers in creating safety features that will protect passengers from rear-end accident injuries.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Kentucky rear-end accident and need experienced legal help to recover for your injuries and expenses, contact the compassionate and knowledgeable Lexington personal injury attorney Stephen M. O'Brien III for a free consultation, at 859-317-2056.

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