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Amarie
10-08-2009, 09:43 PM
Can a person still get a mild concussion if wearing a seatbelt? I'm thinking a bad accident still can throw a person side to side, possibly making them hit their head on the window. Is this too far out there?

DeleyanLee
10-08-2009, 09:55 PM
Can a person still get a mild concussion if wearing a seatbelt? I'm thinking a bad accident still can throw a person side to side, possibly making them hit their head on the window. Is this too far out there?

On the window? Probably too far out there (especially if wearing a shoulder belt).

On the metal part of the headrest behind them or the steering wheel? No problem. Especially if the airbag malfunctions.

ETA: Maybe the window if the airbag did deploy.

alleycat
10-08-2009, 09:59 PM
I once knocked out the side car window with my head while wearing a seatbelt. I was in a T-bone crash.

People are safer wearing seatbelts, but people still die in car crashes when they're wearing them. Suffering a concussion certainly isn't out of the range of possibilities.

johnnysannie
10-08-2009, 10:18 PM
Can a person still get a mild concussion if wearing a seatbelt? I'm thinking a bad accident still can throw a person side to side, possibly making them hit their head on the window. Is this too far out there?

It's possible; I was in an accident in which the windshield smashed and came so far in that it cut up my left arm, that I had put over my face to protect it.

Stargazer
10-08-2009, 10:36 PM
If you're like me and oyu're about to be ina horrible car crash, you lean forwards and brace for impact against the dashboard. So when the seatbelt locks and prevents you from going through the windshield, you have several inches of room behind you to flop about and have some nice back pains for a few years.

It could also open the possibility to move sideways and smack your head against something firm. Luckily, I didn't manage that bit though.

Puma
10-09-2009, 02:41 AM
Two cases here (not me) of wearing seat belts and enough of an impact of head on windshield to break the windshield. Both in cars before air bags. Puma

jclarkdawe
10-09-2009, 02:55 AM
Yes. It depends upon the impact point, speed, and design of the car. It's least likely to happen in a rear-end collision, although it is possible.

Head-on collision, with either another vehicle or a solid object, produces massive G forces as a vehicle moving X mph is suddenly reduced to zero. The human body is fractionally slower at slowing than the car, and continues to move forward at full speed. Head and upper torso move forward, while the seatbelt and dash keep the lower body closer to position. Race car drivers really strap themselves in, so that their body has less room to move. Bottom line is the slack in the seat belt is considerable, as well as the flex in the car. Air bag reduces the impact, but it collapses as well from the force.

With sufficient energy, the head will impact the windshield, either leaving a star break and bulge in the windshield or the head through the windshield. You're talking a collision in the speed range of 50 mph+ into another vehicle or something very solid. EMTs routinely check the windshield for those sorts of marks.

T-bone or side collisions produce a collision with the side window. Passenger on the passenger side and driver on the driver's side. Very unusual to have a head impact on the other side, although it is possible.

A roll over can produce contact with the roof, side, or front of the car, and can produce multiple contacts as the car rolls.

Seatbelts, airbags, crush zones reduce impacts, but don't eliminate them. You bang them together hard enough, and the force will provide you with contact.

Each of these injuries produce different types of head injuries, because of the contact areas. This is why the ER doc wants to know about the accident from the EMTs. But what differences they produce is something I don't know.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
former Captain/EMT Webster Fire Dept.

Amarie
10-09-2009, 03:20 AM
You all are fabulous! Thank you!

Puma
10-09-2009, 05:06 AM
That's interesting, Jim. My husband's accident involved a truck that ran a red light and hit him at the front axle on the right side - the right side of his head hit the windshield. Now that you mention it - that doesn't seem possible - although maybe it does - have to think it through. Puma

jclarkdawe
10-09-2009, 05:41 AM
That's interesting, Jim. My husband's accident involved a truck that ran a red light and hit him at the front axle on the right side - the right side of his head hit the windshield. Now that you mention it - that doesn't seem possible - although maybe it does - have to think it through. Puma

You have a combination of front end and side impact. Instead of a hit at zero degrees or a hit at ninety degrees, you have some degree in between. Let's assume that the force was evenly divided between resulting in your husband moving in a forty-five degree angle. Assuming your husband was driving, his body would be propelled in a forty-five degree angle, hitting the windshield somewhere around the rear view mirror. Assuming he was looking straight ahead, this would cause the impact to be on the right temple.

This is what accident reconstruction is all about (which I can't do). By looking at points of impact, skid marks, debris fields, and some fancy computer programs, you can figure all of this out fairly exactly.

I gave the simple version. In reality, there are an infinite number of possible angles here, each angle producing slightly different results, combined with an infinite number of speeds. Then you have everything that gets hit afterward. You hit the car, from which you bounce into a tree, bouncing back into the road to get hit by another car. It's like a pool ball.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

ashara76
10-09-2009, 05:53 AM
You can also sustain injuries from the actual airbag itself. I don't know if it helps any, but my mom was in a multi-car crash (luckily approaching a stop light and someone didn't realize there was a stop, hence the crash) and the airbag deployed. Her automatic reaction had her lifting her arms to protect herself and she sustained 2nd degree burns on her arms from the airbag.

Nivarion
10-09-2009, 06:19 AM
My dad is a chiropractor and while hanging out in his offices I got to hear about a lot of car crash injuries.

injuries I commonly heard of were; whiplash, rib fractures, spine injury and head injury.


My grandma and two of my aunts were in a car crash, where the car (for no apparent reason) started to flip and roll end over end. We learned the hard way that day that most seatbelts are designed with a weight capacity of 200lbs. My aunt being over that broke her belt and was crushed by the car. She died less than an hour latter. So that one can happen with a belt.

My grandma in the passenger seat actually hit her head on the front wind shield hard enough to leave behind a piece of her scalp.

My other aunt wasn't wearing a belt and fell out of the back window. She only had mild road rash. However her shoes were in the car and she was the one that ran for help on a dirt road. Her feet are still pretty scared.

Its really bad. In some cases the body gets stretched out by the impact (we're pretty elastic) and can hit anything. We had one guy in the office who hit the (ETF) RIGHT side of his head on the drivers door window. (Wrap your mind around that one, I couldn't)

mscelina
10-09-2009, 06:36 AM
I was the passenger in a car (at a dead stop waiting to pull out of a parking lot) that was hit by a car. The driver (teenager, in the rain, speeding at 25 mph over the speed limit) saw the nose of the car I was in, swerved and overcompensated, coming back in too soon and hitting us from about ten o'clock. I was wearing my seat belt. I didn't sustain any head injuries (although that's kind of hard to swear to considering how hard my head is) but my shoulder and right leg were seriously bruised from the car door. Also, right before the impact I guess I reacted to the oncoming car and twisted away from the headlights. So I was turned slightly when the car hit and, as a result, ruptured the disc at L4-L5. This caused an effect known as degenerative cascade, which is a theory about why twisting impacts lead to degenerative disc disease.

That was seven years ago. I now have an artificial disc in my spine and nine actively degenerating discs from T7/T8 to my tailbone in various stages of DDD.

You know--in case you were looking for an injury that didn't involve the head.

Puma
10-09-2009, 06:51 AM
Good job on the reconstruction, Jim. That's exactly where he hit - his right temple and a bit above. The angles made sense. Puma

Rose English
10-09-2009, 06:59 AM
My mum and I were in a car crash when I was 14. A car hit us; her bonnet to mum's (driver's seat) door, at 40mph. I saw her up close and in slow motion before she hit us, and then I heard a screeching huge metallic glassy crash, was wrenched sideways, and then everything went black.

Coming round from that was the weirdest thing. Like where you watch a movie and everything is slowed down and gradually reverts to normal speed. I tried to sit forward and it seemed to take ages to work out why I couldn't - the seat belt was holding me back. I fumbling with the seat belt catch, because my hands wouldn't work the way I expected them to. I pushed and pushed on the door before I realised it was locked and I had to pull the handle first. Like learning how to do these things all over again. I was very confused.

To answer your question, yes, I received a concussion and bruising to my head where it hit the centre support sideways, so I had the drowsiness and vomiting thing. My lower legs flew up and hit the dashboard and were very bruised in a line horizontally across the shins. I had a carpet burn type injury across my collarbone. I don't think it was long after the seat belt laws were made mandatory in the UK so it could have been much worse. (And we were in a Mini). Mum didn't fare so well but she's ok now. One of her injuries, I mention it just because it's unusual, is that she partially bit through her tongue on impact. That still makes me wince.

Don Allen
10-09-2009, 07:04 AM
Just for shits and giggles you should know that seat belts can cause severe cuts and lacerations to the body, head and neck, if not worn properly and yes... dreaded decapitation,, which if you think about it, could cause a concussion, though you should be dead before your head bounces out of the car and cracks itself on the street.

Pat~
10-09-2009, 07:10 AM
I know someone who was in a collision on a major freeway whose collarbone was broken by the shoulder restraint of the seat belt. (Of course, it probably also saved her life.)

Rose English
10-09-2009, 07:11 AM
Oh, something else I just thought of. Mum's seat was pushed in over mine about a fifth of the way (so in a British car the handbrake is usually in the gap between the two front seats, and that was gone, squished).

We didn't collide heads, I suppose because we were forcefully spun around. But if there was a rebound off something, I think you could make that seem plausible to a reader. Not certain though.

Rose English
10-09-2009, 07:15 AM
Just for shits and giggles you should know that seat belts can cause severe cuts and lacerations to the body, head and neck, if not worn properly and yes... dreaded decapitation,, which if you think about it, could cause a concussion, though you should be dead before your head bounces out of the car and cracks itself on the street.


Ever wish you could un-read something? :flag:

alleycat
10-10-2009, 12:46 AM
By the way, Melia, have you ever been in a serious car crash? If you haven't, and need more information for a WIP, let us know. I'm sure some of us can (unfortunately) provide some additional information that you might not be aware of, mostly in the way of "small details" that you might overlook. Of course it depends on how you're using the car crash in whatever story you're doing. You might only need to know that a concussion is possible in a car crash.

Amarie
10-10-2009, 03:18 AM
Thanks, Alleycat. I've never been in a car crash. I wish I would have thought to post this question before my manuscript was so far along. I'm sure I could have used the details, but the manuscript is all the way into the copy editing stage. The copy editor questioned whether a person sitting in the back seat of an SUV by the window could get a concussion if he was belted in. I've used all the information here, and said he could. So you all are my experts.