Low-speed Car Accidents: How Your Body is Damaged Even If Your Car Isn’t

If you’ve been in a low-speed accident, that’s one that’s under 10 mph, your vehicle may come out of it virtually unscathed, but your body?  Not so much.  Why?

Newton’s First Law states, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”  In an accident, the object is you.  The car may stop, but you will continue moving until something stops you, like your seatbelt.  Or the dashboard.   

As part of designing vehicles today, very sophisticated crash test dummies are used to measure how a person would be injured in an accident.  The problem?  Dummies aren’t people.  People don’t always drive with their hands at “10 and 2”.  People may not have the same straight posture as a crash test dummy.  They may not be looking straight ahead at the moment of impact.  Maybe they were trying to find their favorite song on the radio.  Maybe they were looking at their passenger.  There’s a good chance your body was not in the ideal position at the time of the crash.    

Your body size also makes a difference in an accident.  If you have less muscle mass, such as elderly people and children, you are more apt to sustain an injury in a crash, and taller people are more prone to whiplash injuries.  

When an older vehicle is in a low-speed accident, it will have greater body damage to it than a new one.  Newer vehicles are designed to better absorb the impact, and unfortunately, that impact needs to go somewhere, usually to the occupants of the vehicle.  If a vehicle weighs 2,000 lbs., a collision at 10 mph would result in more than 3 ½ tons of force!

Low-speed auto accidents can result in a number of injuries ranging from minor to very serious.  If you see the accident coming, even for a second, your body will involuntarily tense up to prepare for impact.  This can cause damage to your arms and legs by breaking bones, damaging joints, or tearing muscles.  

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in accidents.  It occurs when the head is snapped backward and then forward with significant force, causing damage to both the bone structures and soft tissues in the neck.  

An accident may cause some people to experience tinnitus, or ringing in their ears, and this could be a short-term problem or it could be a chronic one.  With chiropractic treatment, however, the tinnitus may be relieved or may even cease altogether with a realignment of the spine which in turn can affect the circulation of the ear.  

You could experience a sprain or strain in your shoulder in the accident.  The rotator cuff, the part of your shoulder that allows the range of motion of your arms, is commonly injured this way, as are any of your limbs.  Joint injuries or torn ligaments in your arms and legs can be quite painful and can lead to permanent damage if left untreated.   

The neck and back are susceptible to injury in low-speed crashes.  It may take weeks or months for the injury to show symptoms.  As is the case with most auto accident injuries, it could become a chronic pain if not treated early.

At North County Pain Relief, we take a holistic approach to your treatment.  For these types of injuries, numbing your body with painkillers is not the best solution.  By treating your body as a whole, we can make very specific spinal manipulations so that your body can better heal itself, in most cases without the need for surgery or medications.  We also offer several other types of therapies as part of your comprehensive treatment plan.

We can help you through the entire process, explain your rights and insurance procedures.  And if can’t drive your car because of the accident, we can even make arrangements for transportation to our office.  

If you’ve been in an automobile accident, call North County Pain Relief at (314)731-4201.  The sooner you call, the sooner we can relieve your pain.