The 10 MPH Rear End Collision
10 MPH test: Notice how little damage was done, yet there was a great transfer of energy from a vehicle in motion to one that is at rest
Let’s start off by talking about how damage to a vehicle is not a good indication to damage to the vehicle’s occupant. Many times, vehicles do not sustain much damage in a collision of less than 10 mph. Why is that? Well one of the reasons is that they have bumpers.
What is the purpose of bumpers?
According the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, bumpers are supposed to keep damage away from safety-related equipment such as headlights and taillights and protect vehicle parts such as hoods, fenders, and exhaust and cooling systems that are expensive to repair. When bumpers are poorly designed, these parts sustain most of the damage in parking-lot collisions and other low-speed impacts. Bills to fix fender-bender damage can add up to thousands of dollars. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/bumpers/qanda.
Did you get that? They are designed for the purpose of preventing vehicle damage. Bumpers are not designed to prevent injuries to the occupants!
Now you may be familiar with the phrase “crumple zone.” A crumple zone is a part of a motor vehicle, especially the extreme front and rear, designed to crumple easily in a crash and absorb the main force of an impact.
The crumple zone is not part of the bumper. In order for the crumple zone to start lessening the impact, the bumper would need to be either missed (impact does not align with bumper), or the impact is greater than the threshold of the bumper.
Therefore, when the bumper doesn’t crumble and absorb the force of the impact - - more of that crash is felt by the occupants.
Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma.
Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness and headaches. Most people with whiplash recover within a few months after a course of pain medication, exercise and other treatments. Some people experience chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications.
Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Mayo clinic Definition: A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.
A spinal disk is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the softer "jelly" pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior.
A herniated disk can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disk. Most people who have a herniated disk don't need surgery to correct the problem.