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Incidence rates for whiplash injury caused by car accidents

In the UK around 200,000 people suffer from whiplash injuries every year.  What’s more, between 14 and 20% of those involved in car accidents sustain Whiplash Associated Disorders. Read an overview of whiplash injury.

Rear-end collisions most frequently cause whiplash injury (43%) when compared to head-on and side impact collisions (32% and 35% respectively). Read more about whiplash injury and car accidents.

Studies in the US have also revealed that those travelling in SUVs, pickups and minivans are more likely to sustain a Whiplash Associated Disorder during rear-end collisions. This is because the seats and headrests in these particular models provide inadequate rear impact protection.

Whiplash injury and car occupants

Those passengers seated in the front during car accidents are far more likely to suffer Whiplash Associated Disorders than the driver or back seat passengers. 

Research reveals that the incidence rate of neck injuries to front seat passengers as a result of rear-end collisions is 16% compared to 10% for back seat passengers.

Front-seat passengers are also more likely to experience neck sprains with an incidence rate of 19% compared to just 15% of drivers.

Seatbelts are designed as a car safety feature but they may actually contribute to whiplash injury.  UK studies have revealed that while the seatbelt limits movement of the body it increases the forces applied to the neck after a rear-end collision.

Whiplash injury and gender

According to the Motor Accident Board, overall a man is more likely to be involved in a car accident than a woman.  However, 65% of whiplash injuries are reported by women compared to just 35% reported by men.

An explanation for this is that women have smaller neck muscles in relation to the weight of their head.  The head can weigh up to 15 pounds which is the weight of an average bowling ball.  When the whiplash motion occurs between 500 and 600 pounds of force are created and the neck takes the strain.  There is even greater strain on the smaller neck muscles of a woman.  Therefore, a woman’s neck is far more vulnerable neck injury.

Whiplash injury and age

Generally, very young people and elderly people are those less at risk of sustaining whiplash injury from a car accident.

Research suggests that 17% of under 21-year-olds and just 2% of over 60-year-olds are less likely to be involved in an accident resulting in whiplash than in any other type of motoring accident.

These results have come to light despite the fact that the elderly are much more prone to diseases that weaken the neck such as osteoporosis and younger people, especially small children, have far smaller neck muscles. 

Making a claim for whiplash injury compensation claim today

If you have suffered a Whiplash Associated Disorder through no fault of your own then we may be able to help you make a claim.

It is your civil and legal right to claim for damages following a non-fault personal injury. You could recover medical expenses, loss of earnings suffered and other costs incurred as a result of your injury. 

We work on a no win, no fee basis. What this means is that, in the event your case is not successful, you won't be charged a penny. It means that making a claim is a completely risk free process - this lets you focus on getting better, not worrying about money.

Making a personal injury claim following a whiplash injury couldn’t be easier, just call 0800 197 32 32 today for further details.