Broken Bones After a Car Accident
One way to almost guarantee to break many bones in a car accident is not to wear a seat belt. If you are thrown forward through the windshield, it is going to hurt. If you are expelled from the vehicle to land many yards in front, on the hard concrete, you are not going to come out unscathed. After such an accident, you will be lucky to be alive, and you will likely have many broken bones.
The reason why bones break in a car accident is the pressure on them is extreme. When compared to steel of the same weight, a human bone is stronger. Discovery says that one cubic inch of bone can withstand the weight of five standard pickup trucks (about 15,000 pounds). Science says that, in a sudden impact, the human body can withstand 50 pounds per square inch.
How much force you experience in a car accident depends on the weight of what you hit. The force increases by the speed anything you hit is moving towards you. Two cars traveling at 30 mph that have ahead on collision is almost the same as one car running into a concrete wall at 60 mph. In a typical car accident, the impact force can be more than thirty times the amount needed to break a bone.
Injured in a car accident? Call a personal injury attorney right away at (877)776-9558
Using a car crash calculator shows that a person weighing 200 pounds, wearing a seat belt, and in an accident hitting a stationary object at 55 mph would experience around 137,000 Newtons of force. This is the same force as getting hit by a 30,812-pound object. This is approximately the weight of the ten standard pickup trucks. It only takes about 4,000 Newtons of force to break a femur (hip bone). The force of 137,000 Newtons can snap a bone like a twig.
The resilience of a bone to withstand an impact is affected by the angle of the impact. Bones are stronger in a vertical direction and break more easily if impacted horizontally. If you are an older adult, you may have “brittle” bones (osteoporosis), which break very easily in a car accident. This is especially true for older adult females. Your ribs, which are closer to the skin surface, break easier than a femur does because leg muscles surround a hip bone.
Bones Broken in Car Accidents
The adult human has 206 bones in the body. All of them can break from the bones in your toes to your skull. The stunt motorcycle rider from the 1970s, Evel Knievel, holds the Guinness World Record for the most broken bones in a lifetime, with 433 bone fractures in more than 25 crashes. The legend is that he broke every bone in his body. However, the reality is that he broke only 35 different bones, yet he broke them multiple times.
Here are some of the bones that were broken by Evel Knievel, which are also broken in car accidents:
- Spinal vertebrae in the neck or back.
- Clavicle (runs across the top of the rib cage)
- Pelvis (hips)
- Fibula (lower leg)
- Hands/Wrists (27 bones)
- Cranial (skull)
- Facial bones (there are 14 facial bones)
- Sternum (breastbone)
Common reasons for having broken bones from a car accident are:
- Thrown from the vehicle.
- Landing on the pavement.
- Crushing forces from a collision with a heavy vehicle.
- A car flipping over.
- Instinctively reaching forward to brace for impact.
- Hit by an airbag.
- Slammed forward into a shoulder restraint, steering wheel, or the dashboard.
If you, or someone riding with you, suffered a broken bone in a car accident caused by another driver, contact a personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. Call (877) 776-9558 or fill out the webform for a free consultation.
Drive carefully. Wear a seat belt. Don’t be reckless like Evel Knievel.