Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that we see our clients suffer in car accidents. A whiplash injury occurs when the head is rapidly forced backward and then forward, causing the neck to snap in a whip-like motion. This can result in damage to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck, leading to symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. While whiplash can happen to anyone involved in a collision, the following risk factors make someone far more susceptible to suffering this painful and debilitating type of injury:
Older adults are at increased risk of suffering from whiplash in a car accident. One study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that individuals over the age of 65 were more likely to experience symptoms of whiplash after a collision than younger adults. The study also found that older adults were more likely to experience severe pain and disability as a result of their injuries.
Another study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that older adults had a higher incidence of whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) compared to younger adults. The study noted that older adults may have reduced neck muscle strength and flexibility, which can make them more vulnerable to whiplash injuries.
In addition to the above studies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that individuals over the age of 65 have the highest rate of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. This may be due in part to their increased vulnerability to whiplash injuries and other types of trauma.
Location Within the Vehicle
Research has shown that sitting in the front seats of a vehicle can put individuals at a greater risk for this type of injury.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the risk of whiplash injury is significantly higher for front seat occupants compared to rear seat occupants. The study found that front seat occupants are almost three times more likely to sustain whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision than rear seat occupants. This is due to a number of factors, including differences in seat design and restraint systems.
According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, individuals who are taller than 6 feet are more likely to experience whiplash injuries than those who are shorter. The study found that taller individuals are at a greater risk for whiplash because their necks have a longer lever arm, meaning that there is more force applied to their necks during a collision. This increased force can cause more severe neck injuries, including whiplash.
Another study published in the Journal of Trauma found that people who are taller than 5 feet 7 inches are more likely to suffer from severe whiplash injuries. The study analyzed data from over 800 car accident victims and found that taller individuals were significantly more likely to experience severe whiplash symptoms, including neck pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.
Studies have shown that women are more susceptible to whiplash injury than men.
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from whiplash in a car accident. The study found that women have a 70% higher risk of suffering from whiplash than men, even when the severity of the accident and other factors are taken into account.
One of the reasons why women are more susceptible to whiplash is due to differences in neck strength and size between men and women. Studies have shown that women have smaller and weaker neck muscles than men, which makes them more vulnerable to whiplash injuries. Additionally, women tend to have different sitting postures than men, which can also increase their risk of whiplash.
Another factor that may contribute to the higher risk of whiplash in women is hormonal differences. Research has shown that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can affect the musculoskeletal system, making women more susceptible to injuries like whiplash.
If you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered from whiplash or other injuries, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Whiplash injuries can have long-term effects and may require ongoing medical treatment, which can be costly. Additionally, if the accident was caused by another driver's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At Phillips & Associates, we have been representing car accident victims, including whiplash injury victims, for more than 30 years. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a car accident can have, and we are dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free consultation.