Personal Injury Lawyers
Roanoke & Southwest Virginia

Rear-End Crash Severity and Likelihood of Soft Tissue Damage

car accident attorneysAn experienced rear-end accident lawyer knows that soft-tissue damage is one of the most common types of injuries that can occur as a result of a rear-end accident in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, Franklin County and Southwest Virginia. Soft tissue damage generally affects the neck although any ligaments, tendons and joints in the body may be impacted. A study was conducted to better assess the impact of crash severity on soft tissue damage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the results.

How Does Crash Severity Impact the Likelihood of Soft Tissue Damage?

Approximately 60,000 vehicles were equipped with crash pulse recorders to measure the history of acceleration time in rear-end accidents. Researchers conducted an evaluation of certain rear-end accidents that happened in vehicles equipped with the crash pulse recorders. Accidents were included if there were occupants in the front seat who had no previous neck injuries.

The study revealed a correlation between the duration of symptoms of soft tissue injury and the severity of the rear-end accident. Whiplash is one of the most common soft tissue injuries resulting from rear-end accidents. A greater velocity is going to increase the chances of whiplash symptoms.

Past studies have demonstrated that people generally start to show symptoms of whiplash associated disorders (WAD) when there is a change in velocity of between 10 and 15 km per hour (around 6 to 9 mph). When there was a velocity change of around 10.9 KM per hour (6.8 mph), few of the people involved in the accident experienced whiplash symptoms after a few days had passed. However, whiplash symptoms do not always manifest immediately after an accident.

The recent study published by the NHTSA suggested that the change of velocity could be smaller than 10 KM per hour (6.2 mph) and symptoms could still develop. The study considered not just immediate whiplash symptoms, but more long-lasting symptoms that persist long after the crash happened.

The study showed the risk a person would suffer symptoms of whiplash associated disorders (WAD) for more than a month after a rear-end crash was about 20 percent when there was a change of velocity of 8 kilometers per hour (5 mph) and when there was a mean acceleration of 5 g. By contrast, of 207 occupants involved in rear-end accidents included in the study, only one person suffered WAD symptoms for more than a month when the mean acceleration was below 3 g.

Other prior studies suggest about 21 percent of people in moderate rear-impact crashes sustain long-term consequences to soft tissues that caused lasting symptoms. The new research seems to confirm that this may be the case and that even moderate accidents can have a big impact on ongoing health.

The gender of the motorists involved also played a role in the likelihood that soft tissue damage would happen. Females generally had a higher risk of initial WAD symptoms as compared with men.

Drivers who sustain soft tissue injuries need to be sure they get the compensation they need to cover their long-term medical expenses if another driver was to blame for the accident.

If you have been injured, contact Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC today at 866-434-1581 or visit to schedule a consultation.  Serving Roanoke, Rocky Mount, Franklin County and Southwest Virginia.  

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