Although there is a tendency to believe that the more noticeable or significant the visible damage to a vehicle, the more severe the injuries to the occupant, this is not always correct. This mistaken belief is closely related to the idea that a person cannot be injured in a low-speed traffic accident.
In an article published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the author analyzes the existence of a clear correlation between the material damage visible in a vehicle after an accident and the severity of the injuries suffered by its occupants. The conclusion of this research was that the amount of visible damage is not necessarily directly proportional to the severity of injuries to vehicle occupants, so it is unreasonable to assume that property damage will be a reliable predictor of injury risk. or the legal outcome of the incident.
A low-impact, or low-speed, car accident can occur in a number of circumstances. The most common circumstances for this type of accident are the following:
- Collisions during stops and starts
- Collisions caused by changing lanes in traffic
- Rear-end collisions in slow traffic
- Accidents in school zones, including school bus accidents
- Collisions in or entering or exiting parking lots
- Four-way stop collisions
- Accidents in pedestrian areas, including crosswalks
Despite what an insurance company may tell you, injuries in a low-impact car accident can be serious and require proper medical treatment to avoid not only the pain of the injuries, but also more permanent consequences.
Although there is an ongoing debate about the importance of visible damage to occupant injuries, there is no doubt that today’s vehicles are safer thanks to crash zones designed to absorb and disperse the force of an impact. Despite this, the lack of collision damage to a vehicle usually means that the force of the impact has been transferred to the vehicle’s occupants, often causing fairly serious injuries.