In car accidents, "low speed" might make you think of minor fender-benders or small, seemingly harmless bumps. How much harm can a collision at low speed really cause? To our surprise, the answer could be more complex than it seems. In this article, we'll dive into everything you need to know about low-speed accidents and what lingering symptoms to look out for if you've been in a low-speed accident.
A low-speed car accident generally is defined as a collision at speeds under 10-15 miles per hour. These accidents, or "fender benders," usually happen at intersections, parking lots, or congested traffic. Many believe these types of accidents are unlikely to cause serious injury. The truth is more complex. While vehicles usually only are sometimes damaged very slightly, the human body is at higher risk of injury.
At just 7 miles per hour, an individual may suffer injuries that require expertise from a medical doctor and physical therapist.
Common Injuries in Low-Speed Accidents
Opposite to what many believe, even a low-speed crash can lead to various injuries. The human body is more vulnerable than we think. Many people believe these seemingly minor accidents can't cause significant harm.
Here are some possible symptoms to be aware of if you've recently been in a low-speed accident:
This is one of the most well-known injuries when discussing low-speed accidents. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck forcefully get thrust forward and backward, straining the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms might not appear immediately. These include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and cognitive issues.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be strained or torn even in low-speed collisions. These injuries can sometimes lead to pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Sudden jolts of pain are also familiar symptoms.
It's important to remember that the brain experiences much acceleration and deceleration within the brain during any collision. It can result in concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury with symptoms like headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory issues.
Bruising and Contusions
Sometimes, in a low-speed collision, the seatbelt can tighten abruptly, or occupants can strike parts of the vehicle's interior. It can lead to minor injuries but still cause discomfort and pain in the form of bruises and contusions.
Low-speed accidents can still injure the spine. The sudden jolt of impact can strain or damage the spinal discs or vertebrae. Symptoms include back pain, numbness, tingling, or radiating pain down the legs or arms.
Difficulties remembering things, concentrating, and even shifts in mood can happen after a low-speed accident due to a mild traumatic brain injury.
Numbness and Tingling
If you feel these symptoms, it might indicate nerve damage.
Considering the Impact
In the accident world, we must consider that the impact speed isn't always comparable to the severity of injuries. As we've spoken, many injuries with late-onset symptoms can occur weeks after an accident at a low rate of speed. The human body's fragile nature, coupled with the complex physical forces during collisions, are obvious reasons why it's a great idea to seek medical attention and evaluation.
A check-up after an accident is always wise, even if you don't feel injured. Your health and well-being are most important, and understanding the potential risks of low-speed accidents allows you to put yourself and your health first in all situations.
Hiring an Attorney
If ever injured in an accident, trust in proven results. Have confidence in Virginia's Premier Injury Firm—lawyers who care about our clients and consistently deliver results. At Coletrane & Messersmith, our personal injury lawyers represent individuals and their families directly affected by injury due to someone's negligence. We fight to get the maximum recovery possible in every case. And we only take a fee once we win the case. Have you been in an accident? Contact us today: (757) 821-6832. We look forward to being of service to you.