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What Causes Long-Term Effects of Whiplash?

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Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of car crash. While many rear-end victims walk away without any long-term effects, some will suffer neck pain or headaches for weeks or months. Despite how common both rear-end accidents and whiplash are, they can be difficult to study accurately, since researchers cannot reproduce accidents with human subjects in a laboratory for ethical reasons. With the prevalence of event data recorders in modern vehicles, however, accidents can now be more easily studied.

Specifically, one Swedish study used event data recorder information that had been collected over several years from customers who had reported rear-end crashes to a car insurance carrier. The researchers looked specifically at 207 rear-end accidents for which event data recorders had been triggered by a crash impulse to permanently record such data as the change of velocity of the car (i.e., what speed the car was going before the crash, versus after the impact) and the mean acceleration (i.e., how quickly the car went from one speed to another). The researchers further narrowed the study to include only accidents where the front-seat occupants of the vehicle did not have previous neck injuries, to attempt to determine what sorts of accidents result in long-term whiplash-associated disorder symptoms or more severe whiplash conditions.

The researchers examined how much of a change in velocity and mean acceleration would cause a rear-end car accident victim to suffer long-term consequences. The team found that the risk of whiplash symptoms lasting longer than a month increased greatly as the mean acceleration and change in velocity increased, as did the chances that the victim would be diagnosed with a more severe case of whiplash. The study also found that there was a higher chance that women would experience initial symptoms of a whiplash disorder after a crash than would men, and that those symptoms would appear at a lower crash severity for women than men. This information can be used by manufacturers to create better safety features and injury prevention in new vehicles.

If you’ve been injured in a Mississippi car accident and need an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in recovering for your injuries, contact the Ridgeland car accident attorneys at Hancock Law Firm for a consultation, at (601) 853-2223.

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