Common causes of whiplash injury - Car accidents
Every year the number of road casualties in the UK totals over 300,000 and 14-20% of those involved in car accidents sustain whiplash injuries. Read an overview of whiplash injury.
People that are seated in the front are far more likely to suffer Whiplash Associated Disorders. Even those travelling as slowly as 5mph are at risk. Read more about whiplash injury incidence rates.
A rear-end collision or ‘rear-end’ is a road accident where one vehicle hits the rear of the vehicle in front.
Rear-ends may result from any number of scenarios. For example, the driver in front may suddenly brake to avoid a cyclist that pulls out in front of him or the car behind may accelerate more than the leading car at a roundabout.
The passengers of the car in front usually suffer more severe personal injuries than those in the car behind as they cannot anticipate the impact and so are unable to prepare themselves.
The impact of hitting another car is the equivalent of hitting a firm surface such as a wall at half the speed. That is, rear-ending a stationary car while travelling at 30mph has the equivalent force of hitting a wall at 15mph.
43% of people that sustain whiplash injuries from car accidents are involved in rear-end collisions.
Side collisions involve the side of one or more cars being impacted. These are common in car parks and at t-junctions.
Personal injuries suffered as a result of side collisions are determined by the part of the car that is struck, the speed of the vehicles involved, the presence of safety features such as side- impact air bags and the weight and construction of the object that strikes.
For example, a truck travelling at 60 mph would cause considerably more damage to the people inside a car than a scooter travelling at 20mph.
35% of people who have been involved in car accidents and sustained a whiplash injury were involved in side collisions.
A head-on collision involves the front ends of two cars crashing into one another.
This type of collision may result from a driver coming round a bend on a narrow country lane too quickly or a motorist swerving into oncoming traffic on a B-road to avoid an animal.
Head-on collisions are often fatal but only 32% of people that receive whiplash injuries from car accidents sustain them from head-on collisions.
How whiplash occurs in a car accident
The action of a car coming to a sudden halt usually causes the whiplash motion to occur. For example, the impact of a rear-end collision:
- Shunts your car forward forcing your body forward with it while the head and neck are thrown back
- Your head tilts downwards towards the steering wheel and your neck extends forwards
- Your natural instinct tells you to slam hard on the breaks so that your car stops suddenly
- Your extended head and neck are thrown backwards until they hit the headrest
- The soft tissues of the neck are stretched and torn
This is also known as hyperextension followed by hyperflexion. Hyperflexion is followed by hyperextension in a frontal collision when the neck and head continue to move forward while the body remains relatively still.
Making a whiplash injury claim today
In the UK there are around 600,000 personal injury claims every year and around 80% of these are for whiplash compensation.
If you have suffered a whiplash injury and would like to recover damages for pain and suffering or recover costs such as loss of earnings then our personal injury solicitors are at hand to help.
We offer our clients a no win, no fee service, which means that making a claim with us is risk free.
To set the wheels of your whiplash injury claim in motion simply call one of our friendly claim team on 0800 197 32 32.