Swedish Study Looks at What Types of Accidents Result in Serious or Longer-Lasting Whiplash Effects

Neck Pain after Auto AccidentRear-end accidents are one of the most common types of accident occurring in and around Columbia, South Carolina. When whiplash results from a rear-end crash, the symptoms may last as briefly as a week, or as long as several months. The severity of a whiplash injury and the length of time that the symptoms last can vary from person to person. One study sought to determine what factors in a crash cause these results for car occupants, and did so by using information from the event data recorders located in the victims’ cars.

Research on why and how individuals are injured in car accidents can be difficult to conduct accurately. While estimating the physical forces and speed of cars involved in a crash after the fact does not provide perfectly accurate results, a controlled experiment in the laboratory using test dummies also fails to provide a perfect representation of how a living vehicle occupant would fare in an identical crash. Event data recorders provide a more accurate representation of the physical forces at play in accidents involving living drivers. Event data recorders gather information from sensors located throughout a vehicle, including information on how fast a car is going, whether the accelerator or brakes are being applied, and information from the car’s engine. These devices typically record over the data collected every five seconds. However, when an accident occurs of sufficient severity to trigger or nearly trigger deployment of the car’s airbags, event data recorders will store information received from these sensors beginning five seconds before the impact, which can later be retrieved to study what occurred in an accident.

One group of Swedish researchers looked at information gathered from event data recorders located in over 200 vehicles that had been involved in rear-end accidents. Examining this information alongside medical reports and interviews conducted with those vehicles’ occupants, the researchers sought to discover what forces or speeds resulted in more serious whiplash injuries to the car’s occupants. The team learned that the greater the mean acceleration and change in velocity of the car being hit, the more likely it became that the occupants would experience whiplash symptoms lasting a month or longer. Essentially, the more severe a crash was, the longer the occupants would experience symptoms of whiplash, even if those symptoms were not extremely severe. The researchers also learned that, immediately after a crash, women were more prone to experiencing whiplash-related symptoms than were men.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash in South Carolina, contact the knowledgeable Columbia car accident lawyers at Peake & Fowler for a consultation on your claims, at 803-788-4370.