Cars are made out of steel, hard plastic and fiberglass, mostly. Human bodies are pretty soft by comparison.

A car accident takes about 200 milliseconds to happen. In that time, this is what can happen to your car and your body:

  • Your car comes to a screeching, forcible halt. Your body, however, does not. Kinetic energy keeps your body in motion even though the surrounding vehicle has stopped moving.
  • Your seat belt locks into place. If the accident is forceful enough, you may get a broken collarbone and broken ribs.
  • Your head will snap forward and back again abruptly, which can damage your spine or leave you with pinched nerves. At the very least you may end up with painfully stretched or torn ligaments. This is the most common cause of whiplash injuries.
  • If your seat belt isn’t sitting correctly, you may break your pelvis or sustain damage to your liver, stomach and spleen.
  • If enough ribs are broken, you can expect damage to your lungs and heart.
  • If you aren’t buckled in, all that kinetic energy is going to transfer away from your chest and pelvis — which are the strongest parts of your body — and cause your head to propel forward into the windshield.

That kinetic energy is why accidents at higher speeds are so much worse than low-speed accidents — and the number one reason it pays to drive a little slower when the roads are bad. Essentially, no matter how you look at it, basic science guarantees a bad result when you’re in a high-speed wreck.

If you’ve suffered injuries due to another driver’s mistakes, you deserve compensation for your expenses and damages. An attorney can help you navigate your way through the maze of insurance issues and legal questions that may follow.