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Study Offers Insight on What Causes Long-Term Whiplash Symptoms in Accident Victims

Lady suffers from whiplash

Being the victim of a rear-end accident is an extremely common event on American roads. These accidents can vary drastically in the sorts of injuries they cause vehicle occupants, ranging from mild neck discomfort to serious neurological trauma. The factors leading to these different outcomes from rear-end accidents can be difficult to study using live human subjects, since researchers cannot put research subjects in harm’s way. However, one Swedish research team conducted a study using data collected from vehicle black boxes installed on over 200 vehicles involved in rear-end crashes to examine what sorts of accidents cause the most serious whiplash symptoms in victims.

The research team received information from vehicle black boxes, or event data recorders, from a Swedish car insurance carrier, which had been gathering the information from customers’ cars after a rear-end crash. The research team used data such as whether the cars were accelerating at the time of the impact or whether the cars were braking, as well as changes in velocity, along with interviews of the accident victims and their medical records, to see what factors during an accident would cause longer-lasting whiplash symptoms. The team found that the risk of long-term, severe neck injuries rose steadily with the car’s mean acceleration and the change in velocity that the car experienced after being hit. Where drivers were traveling roughly the same speed at the time of impact, regardless of what that speed was, there were very low chances of long-term neck injury to the occupants.

One additional fact gleaned by the researchers was that women are more likely than men to show symptoms of a whiplash-associated disorder in accidents of similar severity. It is worth noting that the study examined only crashes where the crash was of sufficient severity to trigger the event data recorder’s crash pulse sensor, which only records this data permanently when a crash’s impact on the vehicle reaches a certain level. Thus, less severe crashes that also caused whiplash injuries were not examined.

If you’ve been injured in an Alabama car accident and need assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney, contact the Mobile law offices of J. Allan Brown for a consultation, at 251-473-6691.

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