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What happens to the body when a car collides with another?

When you're in a car crash, there are many things that occur. Depending on the type of impact, you could be killed or suffer severe injuries. What exactly happens to your body?

Science can explain that. When you are in a vehicle, your body is traveling at the same speed as the vehicle. If you're moving at 50 mph, then your body is as well. When the vehicle stops quickly, your body keeps moving, which is why you should wear a seat belt.

The impact against a seat belt, air bag, steering wheel or other object won't hurt you up to a point, because your body can absorb some of the shock. Once the impact is hard enough that the body can't absorb all the shock, you suffer an injury. The harder the impact is, the worse your injury is likely to be.

This is why vehicles deform upon impact. Many have frames that fold down and collapse to absorb impact and to prevent your body from having to do so. You can still suffer injuries though.

One of the first injuries you could face is a fractured collarbone from the impact of the seat belt against your body. Then, your ribs could suffer from the belt crossing the chest. Some people may suffer from a puncture that damages the space between the ribs and lungs. If that happens, you could develop a pneumothorax injury, which makes it extremely difficult to breathe. If a seat belt isn't worn in the correct position, it's also possible to damage your internal organs. The belt should set across the lap and pelvic bones.

These are just the first few injuries a person could suffer in a crash, and at least one could result in a fatality. It's because of the risk of these injuries that it's always important to hold a negligent driver responsible for his or her actions.

Source: Student Edge, "Let Science Explain What Happens To Your Body In A Car Crash (It Ain’t Pretty)," Simon Miraudo, accessed May 18, 2017

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