Kinetic Energy and Speed
It is a common misconception that two vehicles colliding head-on is the equivalent to one vehicle impacting a solid object at twice the head-on speed. This is not accurate. The kinetic energy (the amount of energy a moving object has) absorbed by the vehicle that hits a stationary object (such as a parked truck or a wall) is four times greater than that of a head-on collision. As speed increases, so does the amount of kinetic energy. When speed doubles, kinetic energy quadruples.
According to the Virginia Commonwealth University, “During a normal, non-collision stop, most of a car’s energy is absorbed in the brake system. But in a vehicle crash, that energy is suddenly, cataclysmically dissipated — typically in less than 100 milliseconds — not by heating the brakes, but by crushing, tearing and twisting the vehicle. In the process, tremendous force is exerted on the vehicle’s occupants.”
Slowing Down Helps, But Does Not Guarantee Safety
Slamming on the brakes to reduce the impact speed will reduce the kinetic energy, but this still does not mean serious injuries can’t happen. The human body, although durable, was never designed to withstand sudden, violent forces that whip the head and spine around. Even low speed crashes can cause severe injuries to the brain and spinal cord and back resulting in death, traumatic brain injuries, or partial, or full paralysis.
To help reduce the risk of catastrophic injury, drivers should not text while driving (which is illegal in Massachusetts) and stay alert. Even if you are abiding by traffic lives, it does not mean another driver is. Always wear your seat belt, and if you have any medical conditions, carry emergency medical information with you in your wallet, purse, or placed somewhere in your vehicle (such as the back of your visor) that medical professionals can quickly locate.
Get the Compensation You Need — and Deserve. Schedule Your Free Consultation With A Broctkon Car Accident Attorney
Our knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule your free, no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter so you can focus on your recovery. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Crash Clusters In Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, some intersections seem to be subject to more accidents than others, causing “crash clusters.” Some of the highest crash clusters in the state are in Worchester, Howell, Weymouth, and Brockton.
The links below are to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and contain information on vehicle crashes, including maps that pinpoint intersections that have the highest rate of accidents.