We’ve talked at length about whiplash injuries on this site:
- Whiplash injures and brain damage
- Symptoms of whiplash after car accidents
- Common causes of whiplash
- General signs of whiplash often overlooked
These types of injuries are commonly seen in rear-end collisions. Now, there’s new research which explains why whiplash injuries suffered in auto accidents are more severe when a person’s head is turned during the impact.
The new study was conducted by Yale University School of Medicine researchers and published in the medical journal Spine. Previous studies had established that a person whose head is turned during a rear-impact collision is more likely to experience symptoms which are more severe and longer-lasting. The Yale research involved simulating rear-end collisions at four different speeds when the head of the “victim” was turned.
The results showed that the severity and the complexity of the neck injuries were higher when the person’s head posture was rotated at the time of impact than when the individual is facing forward. Researchers theorize that an initial stretching of the neck ligaments occurs when the head is turned, but not when it is facing forward – and this stretching is exacerbated during a rear-end collision, which potentially leads to neck pain caused by spinal instability and ligament tearing. Also, a turned head tends to move in three-dimensional motions in a rear-impact crash as opposed to the two-dimensional movements of a head facing forward; this added activity may lead to more injuries.
This new research helps explain why victims of rear-end collisions who were not facing forward at the time of impact might suffer more pain and discomfort than those in a similar crash who did not have their heads turned. This is relevant when a motorist in Illinois is stopped at a traffic signal or stop sign and may be looking down at the car radio, behind them at a back seat passenger, or to the side at other vehicles on the road.
Therefore, it’s important to remember to inform a physician or other health care professional about your head being turned in a rear-end collision. This information will allow them to check for additional points of injury or damage to your muscles, nerves, and ligaments in your neck and spine. Also, be sure to mention this fact to your Illinois whiplash attorney or auto accident attorney if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the offending driver. Doing so will allow your layer to more accurately gauge the potential health care costs you may incur in the future.
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