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kelzey2
06-02-2011, 05:12 PM
I need help figuring out the extent of my characters injuries after being hit by a car.

Scenario:
MC runs onto road, at night, into the path of a car going about 30mph. The driver has enough time to brake but the MC doesn't have the time to move.

What are the worst and best case outcomes for this type of scenario, given I need her to be knocked out, and how long would she need to be in hospital in each case?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

crunchyblanket
06-02-2011, 05:25 PM
Not sure about the worst case scenario, but when I was 15, I was hit by a coach going at 30mph. Because it hit me side-on, my arm took most of the initial impact. I ended up with a broken elbow, some fairly nasty bruising and a concussion.

The doctor did tell me I had been very lucky not to end up with more broken bones, so I don't know how common my case would be. But it's certainly possible to walk away with relatively minor injuries.

Vaguely Piratical
06-02-2011, 05:29 PM
Hitting an adult at 30 miles an hour is bruises (a bunch of bruises) and knocked over for an adult. It sucks, but it isn't a big deal. I'm talking about a normal car. An eighteen wheeler or bus might have a couple broken ribs or other broken bone.

If they hit their head when they fell over it might knock them out. In South Carolina, where I live, if you are unconscious when EMS arrives on scene you go to the hospital. They might keep you over night for observation and do an MRI or CAT scan. That would depend on whether or not you had insurance.

kelzey2
06-02-2011, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the quick replies.


Hitting an adult at 30 miles an hour is bruises (a bunch of bruises) and knocked over for an adult. It sucks, but it isn't a big deal. I'm talking about a normal car. An eighteen wheeler or bus might have a couple broken ribs or other broken bone.

If they hit their head when they fell over it might knock them out. In South Carolina, where I live, if you are unconscious when EMS arrives on scene you go to the hospital. They might keep you over night for observation and do an MRI or CAT scan. That would depend on whether or not you had insurance.

Fits perfectly with what I wrote.

Cheers :)

Sullivan Lee
06-02-2011, 05:53 PM
I think you have a lot of leeway on this. I'm not a doctor or a crash survivor, but as a former cop I've seen a lot of accidents of all kinds, and there are so many factors that play a part. Depending on the angle of impact, and what happens afterward, your character could be anywhere from bruised to dead.

Does her head hit the windshield? Does she go under the tires? You can manipulate the situation to make just about any kind of injury believable. As for length of time in the hospital, if the MC was conscious and coherent, she could refuse treatment, in theory, but it rarely happens that way. If she's unconscious, they'd definitely keep her at least a day, maybe longer. They like to monitor head/brain injuries a while, even if nothing seems immediately amiss. Beyond the head injury, a simple broken bone might have her out in a day, a ruptured spleen, which is definitely possible even in a minor crash, might need immediate surgery, or at least several days of close observation. Figure out how long you need her in the hospital, and tailor the injury accordingly.

Kenn
06-02-2011, 08:02 PM
Being hit at 30 mph is more than just a nasty bump and that is why speed limits are often lower. About 20 % of pedestrians hit at that speed never live to tell the tale, but the figure drops to a couple of percent at 20mph. Similarly, about half the people hit at 35 mph are goners. It depends on a lot of things and you can pick and choose. If the victim is unconscious, then then they will be whisked off to hospital. There is a good chance they might be anyway, in case they have internal injuries.

Vaguely Piratical
06-02-2011, 08:56 PM
I've been hit at 30 miles an hour by a compact car. It sucked a lot, but I got sent home by the EMS with "follow up with your doctor if X Y or Z happens." I also work at a personal injury law office, and we get quite a few pedestrian/car cases.

At 30mph a compact car isn't going to rupture any internal organs in a healthy adult human, without some phenomenal bad luck. Your real danger is hitting your head (in which case yes, you could easily die) or having some preexisting condition that causes complications. Another big think is the car is established as already being braking. This is a big deal, and really increases her odds of not being actually run over or tumbling all the way over the car.

Likewise a whole bunch will depend on angle of impact and circumstance. If the MC is running across the road with all their weight on one knee, and the car hits at the level of the knee they are in trouble. That knee is probably going to get blown out, and they stand a pretty terrifying chance of going straight onto the side of their head, which could easily kill them.

If they are pushing a shopping car in a parking lot, and some jackass peels in off the street and hits them squarely from behind it just sucks. A lot (not bitter or anything).

WriteKnight
06-02-2011, 09:29 PM
Yeah, lot of different scenarios. If the pedestrian is facing the vehicle, and it's a sedan - then they're going to suffer 'pedestrian breaks' - thats what they call the broken legs that happen in that case.

Stunt players are trained to get up in the air, take the roll over the hood and up the windshield - like being 'tackled' - and come up running. So you can manipulate this to your plot line's need.

mirandashell
06-02-2011, 09:30 PM
I'm not sure why the MC doesn't have time to move if the car has time to brake.... sounds a bit odd. Is your MC moving when he/she is hit? Or are they frozen in the middle of the road?

Kenn
06-02-2011, 10:27 PM
EurNCAP pedestrian safety standards are tested at 25 mph. I think the concern is what happens to the person when they roll on to the bonnet (hood). These standards apply to all cars (compacts included and they don't always score highly). The biggest danger of an internal injury is probably a punctured lung. The biggest danger overall is a head injury.

kelzey2
06-03-2011, 04:44 AM
I'm not sure why the MC doesn't have time to move if the car has time to brake.... sounds a bit odd. Is your MC moving when he/she is hit? Or are they frozen in the middle of the road?

She freezes.