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Collision & Injury Dynamics

Back Clinic Collision & Injury Dynamics Therapeutic Team. The mathematical principles of collision physics are complex and unique for each accident. However, they can be simplified, as many of the forces involved are so small that for practical purposes, they are insignificant. Importantly, these principles often support the position of the patient and their doctor.

Car accidents can be devastating! Many people suffer through the agony and pain car accidents cause their bodies, and many times they have no idea of what to do. People will go to the emergency room and be prescribed medication and sent home. The hospital does not realize that these people are still in pain and often can’t work for days after their accident.

That’s where I come in, and I make sure the patient receives a thorough evaluation to determine how much damage was done to them after their collision. Then I will treat the patient according to what they need to get back to the quality of life they enjoyed before their car accident. So if you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision and don’t know what to do, please give us a call today at 915-850-0900. I’ll make sure you get the care you deserve.


Automobile Accidents & Tires: Pressure, Stopping Distance Continued

Automobile Accidents & Tires: Pressure, Stopping Distance Continued

In the prior composing we created the foundation of the significance of tire pressures. Specifically, we demonstrated that a third of the vehicles on the street and additional only a third of those vehicles have an underinflated tire and a warning light, respectively.

We also know a 20% decrease in pressure results in substandard performance, these are the factors we’re likely to explore.

Underinflated tires have a different profile and contact patch with the road.

 

Where the tire meets the roadway is known as the contact patch. Maximizing the touch patch affords the motorist the most performance, specifically steering and braking. What happens if we reduce the contact patch? Under inflation does that.

The contact patch is what connects the vehicle to street, when a tire is properly inflated ( other variables being ignored), the scooter can provide 100 percent of the contact patch (and also the friction between the tire and the roadway) to steering, braking or a combination of both. If the pressure drops performance is also reduced and the contact patch is reduced – but by how much? There are schools of thought on this and a ton of research, for our argument we’ll say tires will have a reduction in performance.

Analyzing an Automobile Accident

But what does this actually mean in the real world? Let say a car traveling at 20 miles with tires was successful and needed to swerve to prevent a collision. The same vehicle with underinflated tires could successfully avoid the same collision at no longer than 17 mph. Let us increase the rates, 55 mph properly inflated collision avoidance becomes collision avoidance.

How about braking? If a vehicle with properly inflated tires could stop in 200 feet (roughly 70 mph), then the identical vehicle with under inflated tires will require 230 feet.

Rollovers turned into another related concern. Aside from the contact patch, appropriate inflation also affects rigidity and stability. In simple terms as a bicycle is asked to alter direction (steer), then an underinflated tire will bend enough to allow the sidewall touch the roadway surface and lift the touch patch from the roadway. In extreme instances, the tire will separate out of the rim allowing the rim to dig in the roadway surface. The photo below depicts a sidewall that is currently experiencing this condition.

The tires in this photo are still able to perform well, in part due to the very little side wall and lack of extreme under pressures. Increasing the sidewall, very similar to SUV or a truck, magnifies the bend and distortion.
The last thing to touch on is that the increase of blowouts. Underinflated tires put pressure inside the tire on the tire structure and boost heat. These variables can, and do, raise the probability of a tire failure by causing or exacerbating the layers of material inside the tire.

Proper tire inflation is among the single most significant routine maintenance activity, and ironically, one of the most ignored tasks and when contemplating causality, the tire pressure ought to be assessed to help rebuild the whole picture of this accident. Tire pressure should be taken into consideration when determining is the arbiter of the culpable party and slide and distances marks.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�Green-Call-Now-Button-24H-150x150-2.png

 

Additional Topics: Auto Injuries

 

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

 

 

Automobile Accidents & Tires: Pressure, Stopping Distance

Automobile Accidents & Tires: Pressure, Stopping Distance

There’s a lot of information about tires, far beyond the reviews and recommendations on a variety of websites. Here we’ll talk about, from a post-collision perspective, car specifications, standard tire information, and how tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) work. We will then analyze how tire pressures relate to automotive collisions.

Vehicle Specifications

Vehicles offered in the United States have a placard in the driver’s door jamb or internal door. This placard contains some advice we need to explore the tires including the vehicle manufacturer recommended load rating tire size, and tire pressure. Here’s an example:

Tires Evaluation 1 - El Paso Chiropractor

(there’s a second placard particularly for tires but this should be supported contrary to the above mentioned placard as the next one does not include any vehicle identifying information such as a VIN. In this picture the last six digits of the VIN have been omitted.)

Tires Evaluation 2 - El Paso Chiropractor

Tire Size

The majority of modern tires have writing on the sidewall which explains the tires measurements as well as other critical characteristics. What does it imply? Sizes for front and back are recorded. The 265 is the width, in millimeters, of the face. The next number, 70, is that the height of the tire sidewall for a percentage of the tread face (in this instance 70 percent of those 265). The “R” creates the tire structure a radial. Finally, the 17 is sized diameter in inches.

Tire Pressure

Notice that the listed tire pressure is assumed to be chilly. Tires have to sit at least eight hours from direct sunlight before they are deemed enough. Gases expand as they are heated and also the minimal cold pressure is put so that the scooter will be at the optimal pressure once at operating temperature; accordingly, if a bicycle is at or below the minimum and is at operating temperature, the strain was lower when the tire was cold.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The TPMS became a mandated normal after the fallout of the Ford Explorer & Firestone bicycle event. The federal government needed a system that would alert drivers to “non” tire pressure(s). There are two types of systems. The first type is called “direct measurement” and it uses a detector inside each tire which relays the strain. The second kind is known as “indirect dimension” and it utilizes the anti-lock brake method to determine if a tire is spinning faster than others. A bicycle with air pressure that is less will have a diameter that is smaller and will spin faster; this difference can be calculated by the brake system.

The gap in either system comes when we examine how this system decides to warn the motorist. Because the pressures at a tire can differ for a few reasons (we only discussed how temperature is one of these) that the TPMS doesn’t search for a single pressure, but rather an array or minimum strain. The setup within the computer of the vehicle only illuminates the warning light when a tire’s pressure is outside the specifications that are preselected.
Many studies by the national authorities, independent organizations, and tire producers all support substandard performance of tires where the tires are below the recommended pressure. The research have three points of discussion.

  • 71 percent of drivers check tire pressure less than a month.
  • More than 1/3 of passenger cars surveyed had at least one tire at or below 20 percent of their placard.
  • Only 36 percent of vehicles tested would find a warning light at 20 percent or more below the placard.

The first point is not a surprise. The absence of frequent tire pressure maintenance is part of why the federal government mandated the TPMS system. The next point is also not surprising. If the majority (71\%) does not regularly check tire pressure, it should be anticipated tires are below the recommended pressure. The point is that the one we want to concentrate on. We want to focus on this fact since the majority of passenger car worries are 30 PSI; 20 percent less is 24 PSI.

If 100 passenger vehicles were on the road, 36 of these would have a minumum of one tire at 20\% below the placard pressure. Of those 36 vehicles, just 13 of them would have a warning light. (For the record it’s not much better for your light truck / SUV category.)

So now we know a third of those vehicles on the street have an underinflated tire and additional only a third of those vehicles have a warning light. The question is does 6 PSI thing? Yes, it does. Testing done by Goodyear and the NHTSA supported decrease in managing a reduction in pressure results in greater stopping distances, increase in blowouts, lower fuel economy, and tire wear.

Putting it All Together

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) also regularly studies tire related accidents. 1 study found approximately 9 percent of all collisions are tire related. In 2012, out of the 5.6 million authorities reported accidents, 504,000 were related.

For simplicity, we will assume each the accidents involved one car making the total 5.6 million. 725,000 would possess the warning lighting if we utilize the proportions more than 2 million would have at least one tire that is underinflated, in the table. Increasing the amount of vehicles only increases the statistics.

When deciding causality, you will find 504,000 tire related collisions as reported previously and also this misunderstood and often overlooked fact is omitted when attempting to determine the culpable party. It’s because of this that upkeep that tire pressures should be ascertained immediately post-accident rather than only focus on skid marks (though they are equally important in the equation important) because demonstrative evidence when trying to reconstruct accidents in the pursuit of discovering causality.

In Part 2 we will discuss how these variables affect tire performance that further provides demonstrative evidence to the accident reconstructionist, accident investigator and lawyer.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900Green-Call-Now-Button-24H-150x150-2.png

References

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (2012). Traffic Safety Facts 2012. Retrieved from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812032.pdf
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (2013, june 28). SAFETY ADVISORY: NHTSA Urges Drivers to Check Tires During Hot Weather. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/SAFETY+ADVISORY:+NHTSA+Urges+Drivers+to+Check+Tires+During+Hot+Weather
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (2013, June). The Problem. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/Safety1nNum3ers/june2013/theProblemJune2013.html
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (n.d.). TIRE PRESSURE SURVEY AND TEST RESULTS. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/TirePressure/LTPW3.html
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (n.d.). Tire Pressure Final. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/tirepresfinal/safetypr.html

 

Additional Topics: Auto Injury Playlist

 

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

 

Questions & Answers: Automobile Accident Dynamics

Questions & Answers: Automobile Accident Dynamics

How do airbags function?

Why do they deploy in some instances and not others?

The module monitors various vehicle systems and contains a threshold for deployment; in simpler terms, this usually means the collision must meet specific settings to deploy an airbag. The idea is exactly the same while the system of every automobile brand is specifically different from the next.

If the collision, as computed by the module, is intense enough, it’ll deploy the appropriate airbag(s). The module has the final say when an airbag is deployed, this is software & hardware dependent.

The module can understand, through onboard accelerometers, changes in the vehicles direction and speed. The module constantly calculates these changes and when it “sees” a switch beyond preset thresholds it begins to track, quite tightly, the fluctuations (this is called algorithm enablement). If it establishes that the changes meet the standards for airbag deployment, it’ll deploy the appropriate airbag(s).

Many vehicles also have failsafe sensors mounted in the car that are designed as a secondary mechanical and/or diagnostic triggering system. These detectors are mounted under the radiator, when crushed or damaged, they force an airbag deployment, generally on the vehicle’s front.

People also often ask whether the vehicle detects if a chair is occupied, in order to deploy an airbag. The driver�s seat is obvious, beyond this, the front passenger seat has a pressure sensor in it which can tell when a predetermined amount of weight is on it, and the rest of the seats use the seatbelt latch (vehicle specific). When you’re driving a vehicle, the module also monitors the status of the pressure sensors and seatbelts, it then uses this data to make the best choice possible about which airbags to deploy and when.

Collision Report Explanations and What to Expect

I’m frequently asked about a specialists report, but the most frequent subset questions are on the lack of aid for findings from the report. Since it is of private & professional interest I have chosen to tackle this question.

“I got this collision pro’s report but there does not seem to be any explanation for his findings, is this normal?”
Yes and No. Yes, this occurs; no, it’s not standard. All professional disciplines of post primary education are based in criteria that were scholarly & accredited.

Collison reconstruction specialists are no different. While not necessary part of an graduate or undergraduate curriculum, the training and instruction they have is based on exactly the identical licensed & scholarly training and education – because of the correlation, the exact same standard ought to be applied to collision reconstruction professionals. Scholarly research relies on procedures of peer reviewed and investigation, testing, and scrutiny before being approved.

When an expert offers an opinion without saying supporting scholarly documentation it’s not useless, but rather it stands alone; it’s simply his opinion. Conversely, as soon as an expert offers and opinion with proper supporting documentation that was scholarly, expertise, all the work, and research is provided with his opinion.

Additional and Minimal Costs in Auto Accidents

Often times an appraisal for repairs is used to justify “low speed” by citing minimum costs. There are a few points regarding so the question is These to consider:

Is the recorded price on the appraisal an accurate reflection of damage?

The long answer begins with understanding who did the assessment and what is there background? Normally, appraisers are trained by the insurer — as such, decreasing the costs and expenses of repair is at the interests of the insurance company. Secondly, a vehicle is not disassembled to learn if there is any damage, especially in low speed collisions by most appraisers.

The next issue is when replacement parts are required where do they come from? Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components cost considerably more than Equal or Like Quality (ELQ) components, like ELQ components are the preferred choice of insurance businesses. It would cost the industry millions more when making repairs to use OEM parts as opposed to ELQ parts. Along this exact same line, paint’s quality also varies. Paint manufacturers provide paint systems that are very durable and will meet with the OEM specifications paints they also offer more economically tightly or paint which is not quite as durable color matched to the first, and as anticipated, it costs less.

The last problem to discuss is occupation downtime. The longer there is a vehicle in for repairs the more it costs the insurance provider in fees. While a shop can, and will, have a minimum quantity of time to fix the vehicle the insurance company is going to maintain them on this time frame and constantly press to be completed. This drive can make an environment where the repair facility will sacrifice quality of workmanship to finish for a profit margin that is much better.

The above factors greatly dictate the final amount making it overly subjective for a trusted stage to confirm the threshold of harm; in different terms, using “low cost” as a justification for no harm is not appropriate as no causality relationship is different. If a breakdown of the repair invoice is supplied, you efficiently show the bias towards reducing the cost of the repair and can objectively cost the repair components.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�

 

Additional Topics: Weakened Ligaments After Whiplash

 

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

 

Transfer of Energy in No Damage Accidents, Causing Injury

Transfer of Energy in No Damage Accidents, Causing Injury

In the last two writings we explored how low speed collisions can have substantial energy transfers with minimal (if any) damage. Here we will discuss the myth of “no damage = no injury” from a vehicle appearance / design point of view and how it relates to injury in a collision.

So as to get into this subject, we need a little history lesson first. With vehicle style being the topic of focus, the industry exploded after World War II. The jet age influenced bumpers, headlights and taillight’s fins. Something else happened too, for the first time in the automobile’s history, vehicles were more than “around town” horse-less buggies; the power of their engines and speeds potential dawned a whole new arena — security. In the 1960’s vehicle aesthetics began to compromise with safety. Automotive designers started to consider topics like; occupant restraints structural integrity, and crash worthiness.

The industry faced slow growth and change into the 1980’s, each revision or change did bring with it progress and progress but not enough at any one time to be a huge leap forward. The changes which were necessary, were too experimental, too cost prohibitive, or just too market risky. Then in the 1980’s a revolution in business started to take hold — the computer. The personal computer allowed for design changes to be done with efficiency. Once plugged in and switched on the days spend calculating double function and variables became complicated than a few clicks.

The computer made it possible for car manufacturers to reduce years of conventional design and research practices into only a month or two and at the same time it allowed for much more cost effective experimentation and new process development.

No Vehicle Damage Doesn’t Guarantee No Injuries

Now that We’ve completed history 101 let Us discuss the topic of Stage – “no damage = no injury”
Vehicle layout, as an approach or concept, has undergone a considerable overhaul in recent years. The change has influenced the use of bumper covers. The long standing tradition in design is to make them of a alloy and to put the outside or separate from the body. (Consider all those classics in “American Graffiti”). The bumper was designed to function as a compliment to the vehicle’s appearance. The safety perspective was non-existent with respect as they were no longer than a sacrificial lamb to save the body.

In the early 1970’s federal mandates designed to make vehicles safer forced the producers to engineer larger and much more structurally sound designs. The most noted changes where the moving of bumper away from the body itself to an essential part of the car’s body. This “afterthought” look borrowed from the truck world was the standard until the late 1980’s. Three things changed in the 1980’s: First, bumpers began to move to behind urethane bumper covers in usage.

This gave a look to vehicles and assisted with aerodynamics. Because aesthetics were no more part of the equation, bumpers became stronger and included the use of energy absorbing material between the bumper structure and the bumper cover. Finally, automotive paints had also advanced, including the ability to resist cracking & flaking, and paint had become elastic.

These changes also had another positive side effect; because of the elastic properties of urethane and the paint, minor collisions, even those which damaged the bumper behind them, no longer seemed as serious. Often times a bumper cover needed more than some paint and prep, where past designs necessitated changing the bumper.
The largest change between older design and the new one, is the inherent elasticity of the new bumper covers. These covers can, and do, rebound into the design they have been formed in and the use of paint that is elastic means the paint is likely to rebound as well. The assessment of speed from damage is currently poorer while signs of impact are evident. Obviously when a steel bumper is distorted it remains that way leaving no room for underestimation.

Notice how we have not discussed these design changes have gained energy transfer; and this isn’t any mistake. There are no groundbreaking points. Changes in vehicle design is not going to ease violation of laws of physics. All these design changes is make the energy transfer in a low speed crash less costly and less apparent.

Evaluating Vehicle Damage

However, there are Just demonstrable measures that can be taken to assess the effects of energy transfer in no apparent damage collisions:

  • Remove the cover of the bumper and inspect the materials below the “skin” of the bumper for internal damage
  • Check the angle of the passenger seat. The factory at a angle and when the occupant is thrown backwards, often the seat angle changes rendering evidence of force transfer sets seats
  • Have the swivel tested with a laser apparatus most repair shops use to make sure the frame of the car is “plumb.” Even a 1-degree variation will be evident and often the chassis gets distorted and that requires energy transfer.

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�
 

Additional Topics: Weakened Ligaments After Whiplash

 

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

 

Where Does Energy Go in Low Speed Auto Accidents? Continued

Where Does Energy Go in Low Speed Auto Accidents? Continued

In the prior writing we explored the criteria for vehicle integrity. In this writing we’ll expand on conservation of momentum. You’re encouraged to do so when you haven’t read the previous article.

Expanding on Conservation of Momentum

Remember we previously said, “The momentum moving into a collision could be accounted for at the outcome” when we discussed the concept of conservation of momentum. Here we will introduce the formula and walk through its parts; we have to comprehend this in order to explore each other influence.

The full formula:

Let�s walk through this, on the left side of the equation we have which is the weight of the first vehicle before the collision multiplied by which is the velocity (in feet per second) of the first vehicle before the collision. is the weight of the second vehicle before the collision times which is the velocity (in feet per second) of the second vehicle before the collision. On the right side of the equation we have which is the weight of the first vehicle after the collision multiplied by which is the velocity (in feet per second) of the first vehicle after the collision. is the weight of the second vehicle after the collision times which is the velocity (in feet per second) of the second vehicle after the collision.

Ok, I know this looks very intricate and the explanation is not jumping off the page so let’s write with a bit more ease of comprehension. Let us take the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards for testing and place two of the identical mass vehicles in this. Let us use a 2012 Toyota Corolla, and we will say the other is blue and one is red because we need two of them.

Red Corolla * 5 mph + Blue Corolla * 0 mph = Red Corolla * 0 mph + Blue Corolla * 5 mph

The 2012 Toyota Corolla has a curb weight of 2,734 pounds, substituted in the formula it looks like this:

2,734 lbs * 5 mph + 2,734 lbs * 0 mph = 2,734 lbs * 0 mph + 2,734 lbs * 5 mph

We need the speeds in feet per second, to do this we will multiply by 1.47 times the miles per hour. This gives us 7.35 feet per second.

2,734 lbs * 7.35 fps + 2,734 lbs * 0 fps = 2,734 lbs * 0 fps + 2,734 lbs * 7.35 fps

Now when we do the math to show the conservation of momentum we end up with the following:

20,094.9 + 0 = 0 + 20,094.9

20,094.9 = 20,094.9

Momentum conserved

Now we have proved the concept so we are going to apply it to a collision involving two different vehicles. We will substitute the 2012 red Toyota Corolla for a 2012 red Chevrolet Tahoe. The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe weighs 5,448 lbs. Now the formula looks like this:

Red Tahoe * 5 mph + Blue Corolla * 0 mph = Red Tahoe * 0 mph + Blue Corolla * 9.96 mph

5,448 lbs * 5 mph + 2,734 lbs * 0 mph = 5,448 lbs * 0 mph + 2,734 lbs * 9.96 mph (speed after impact)

We need speeds in feet per second, to do this we will multiply by 1.47. This gives us 7.35 (5mph) and 14.64 (9.96mph).

5,448 lbs * 7.35 fps + 2,734 lbs * 0 fps = 5,448 lbs * 0 fps + 2,734 lbs * 14.64 fps

Now when we do the math to show the conservation of momentum we end up with the following:

40,042.8 + 0 = 0 + 40,042.8[1]

40,042.8 = 40,042.8

Momentum conserved

Three significant points can be observed in this protest.

First, when testing is done notice the change in rate at the Tahoe is 5 mph (5 to 0). This is less than the rates used by the Insurance Institute and we would expect the Tahoe to have minimal damage and no structural deformation.
The second point to note is the change in speed the Corolla experiences, 9.96 mph (0 to 9.96). This change in speed is four times the original.

Conclusion

Finally, neither vehicle exceeds the speed of 10 mph, which the automobile manufactures and insurance institute for highway safety often consider threshold for injury. This confirms that cars can easily deform and residents become injured in low speed crashes once you begin to check out the conservation of energy (momentum) and coefficient of forces moved to the target car.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�
References

Edmunds.com. (2012). 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Specifications. Retrieved from Edmunds.com: www.edmunds.com

Edmunds.com. (2012). 2012 Toyota Corolla Sedan Specifications. Retrieved from Edmunds.com: www.edmunds.com

Brault J., Wheeler J., Gunter S., Brault E., (1998) Clinical Response of Human Subjects to Rear End Automobile Collisions. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 72-80.

 

Additional Topics: Weakened Ligaments After Whiplash

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

blog picture of cartoon paperboy big news

 

TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

 

Where Does the Energy Go in Low Speed Auto Accidents?

Where Does the Energy Go in Low Speed Auto Accidents?

There are many factors that play a role in the dynamics of collisions. These include vehicle design and type, speeds, angles of approach, kinetic & potential energy, momentum, acceleration factor, friction… the list is quite long. There are a few constants in which we are curious. These constants are the building blocks of the planet and they make the world of collisions quantifiable and predictable.

 

Within this two-part series we will explore the factors which have the most influence in low speed collisions and how these factors are associated with injury. Note: nothing about these writings is inclusive, there is too much material to explore in depth. The objective of these writings is to present the concepts.

Conservation of Momentum & Auto Accidents

In this writing the subject of exploration is conservation of momentum and how it relates to low speed collisions and bodily injury of the occupant. Conservation of momentum is built on Sir Isaac Newton’s third law. Newton’s third law says “For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction”.

 

In the interest of exploring conservation of momentum in a simple format, we aren’t likely to investigate and explain the history and physics of momentum; for this conversation, we’ll concentrate on the relationship to crash dynamics. It is momentum to speed collisions’ relationship that helps enlighten and is the causal factor of the injuries people who have held tight to the argument that is deceptive that no damage = no injuries.

 

While there is a formula and derivation, neither is needed just yet. For now, we’ll simply use the concept as follows: The momentum going into a collision can be accounted for in the outcome or the energy going in to the accident, must be accounted for at the end of the incident and that and what was exposed to and/or absorbed that energy.

 

Let’s apply some perspective to this notion with the following example.

 

Let us say we are standing at around a pool table and we are going to try the winning shot of the eight ball into a corner pocket. Following the cue ball is struck, we have and another. After the cue ball strikes the ball, then it stops moving and the eight ball begins moving. In this scenario the cue ball before the collision’s momentum is the same as the momentum of the eight ball after the collision[1]. The eight ball rolls to the corner pocket.

 

The transfer is extremely efficient due in part to the fact that neither pool balls can deform. Some of the energy would be used to perform this and less if either pool ball could deform. The National Highway Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandates minimum performance standards for passenger vehicle bumpers. Vehicle bumpers are tested with 2.5 mph (3.7 fps)[2] impact equipment that has the same mass as the test vehicle. The test vehicle is struck with its brakes disengaged and the transmission in neutral. There’s no offset between the automobile and the barrier.

Performance Standards for Vehicle Safety

The NHTSA outlines acceptable damage to your vehicle’s various systems after the tests. Successful completion of these tests mandate operation of systems that are particular. The factory adjustment of the vehicle’s braking, steering, and suspension must be unaltered. In other terms, in order for a vehicle to pass these tests it canhave no change in its structure. If changes did occur the system that is braking, steering, and suspension would be out of factory adjustment.

 

The NHTSA isn’t alone in low rate bumper testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also conducts low rate bumper tests. The IIHS’s test rates are conducted at 6 mph (8.8 fps)[3] and the goal is to determine which vehicles have the least damage and therefore cost the least to repair. The vehicle ratings are proportional to the estimated cost of repair. The more costly the repair, the lower the rating.

 

While the vehicles used in the IIHS testing all show signs of contact with the barrier, none of the vehicles suffer harm which deforms the structure of the vehicle. Don’t have any change in its structure affecting the system, steering, and suspension, just as with the NHTSA the vehicles tested by the IIHS.

 

The lack of change in the structure (deformation) drives a test vehicle to accept the momentum transfer in the testing equipment. Further, the test vehicle is free to move after being destroyed. This testing scenario is like that of the cue ball and eight ball.

 

If a vehicle doesn’t deform during a low speed collision, then it will experience a change in speed (or velocity) very quickly; Consequently, the occupant(s) also experience this exact same change in speed. The key factor in these examples is that the mass of testing equipment and their vehicles involved, but what happens when the masses change?

Conclusion

When the mass of one vehicle changes the momentum also changes, the more mass the more momentum the vehicle can bring to the event and the greater the injury potential to the occupant. There are many complicating factors that now must be considered regarding injuries beyond the Laws of Momentum when determining trauma like the height, weight, muscle mass, occupant position, kind of seat belt used, etc.. However, the first step is to decide if there was enough energy as an initiating factor in low speed crashes to cause those injuries and to overcome no crash = no injury misconceptions and have a health expert in low speed injuries confirm relationship.

 

In the next installment, part II, we’ll discuss this in detail and it will necessary for the later subject of occupant injuries.

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�
 

REFERENCES:
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2010, September). Bumper Test Protocol. Retrieved from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: www.iihs.org
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (2011, October 1). 49 CFR 581 – BUMPER STANDARD. Retrieved from U.S. Government Publishing Office: www.gpo.gov

 

Additional Topics: Weakened Ligaments After Whiplash

 

Whiplash is a commonly reported injury after an individual has been involved in an automobile accident. During an auto accident, the sheer force of the impact often causes the head and neck of the victim to jerk abruptly, back-and-forth, causing damage to the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option utilized to help decrease the symptoms of whiplash.

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