Understanding Car Crash Physics and Biology

What happens when vehicles crash? If you read this blog, you already have a good idea of that. However, it’s worth looking into what happens inside the body too, as this is where the differences between the kinds of crashes you walk away from and the kinds of crashes you’re carried away from are made. This video from the IIHS is a neat one that discusses the internal biology of car crashes, and is an introduction to injury biomechanics.

Notable points include the references to the range of crash test dummies used, which range from a 6 month old infant (which, of course, should be rear-facing) to 95% male dummies (dummies that weigh more than 95% of adult males in the US).

The narrator also discusses some of the voluntary human experiments that were used to provide us with ideas of the kinds of forces human beings are able to tolerate, and how information from studies like those was used to create benchmarks that can be measured with the dummies to determine the likelihood of injuries. The importance of driving safely becomes more obvious here.

The idea of “three collisions” is also broached, with the idea being that collisions occur between the vehicle and what the vehicle contacts (e.g., a tree), the occupant and a part of the vehicle (e.g., the head against the steering wheel), and the internal organs against the body (e.g., the brain hitting the skull).

Watch it and look at some of the collisions I’ve written about, including head-on and side impact collisions. You might see them in a new light.

 After watching, if you’re interested in keeping your children as safely protected as possible, make sure they’re in the right car seat. The best car seats for rear-facing are here, and the highest recommended car seats are here.

If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can bookmark and shop through this Amazon link. Canadians can bookmark and shop through this link.