Internal injuries in vehicular accidents may be due to what is called the “third collision.” The first collision is the vehicle hitting the external object. The second collision is the person hitting something on the inside of the car, such as the dashboard or windshield. This may cause external lacerations. The third collision, possibly the most damaging to the body, is when organs, such as the heart or brain, hit the ribcage, skull, or other confines of the body, bruising the tissues on the leading edge and tearing the organ from its supporting structures on the trailing edge. a. Why is there a third collision? In other words, why are the organs still moving after the second collision? b. If the vehicle was traveling at 60 mph before the first collision, would the organs be traveling faster than, equal to, or slower than 60 mph just before the third collision?
Solution: a. Why is there a third collision In other words, why are the organs still moving. The second collision is the “human collision.” At the moment of impact, passengers in the car that are unrestrained are still travelling at the vehicle’s original speed. When the car comes to a complete stop the passengers continue to be hurled forward until they come in contact with some part of the automobile. For example, the steering wheel, the dashboard, the front windshield or the back of the front seat. Humans in a crash can also cause serious injuries to other humans when they collide with each other. People in the front seat of a car are often hit by rear-seat passengers as they fly forward with incredible force. Look at it like this. If you are traveling down the road at 65 mph and suddenly need to apply the brakes, any loose objects will continue to move at 65 mph. Even a relatively small object such as a pen or a cell phone traveling at that speed could cause severe injuries if they were to hit a person. A heavier object such as a laptop computer could become a deadly weapon. The safest place to carry anything but passengers is in the trunk. If you absolutely must carry something inside the passenger compartment, the safest place to do so is on the floor behind the driver or passenger seat third collision In a motor vehicle crash, even after a human body comes to a complete stop, internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys are still moving. Suddenly, these internal organs slam into other organs or the skeletal system. This “internal collision” is what often causes serious injury or death and is the reason why emergency service workers frequently find victims dead at the scene with little or no outward signs of injury after the second collision b. If the vehicle was traveling at 60 mph before the first collision, would the organs be traveling faster than, equal to, or slower than 60 mph just before the third collision