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Las Vegas Car Accident Doctors Las Vegas Car Accident Doctors Las Vegas Car Accident Doctors
Las Vegas Car Accident Doctors
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Whiplash Risk Factors

Accident-related Injury Risk Factors


Have you ever wondered why one person involved in an auto accident can be hurt much worse than another person who was sitting right next to them in the exact same accident? There are several risk factors that can be used to assess an individual's risk for sustaining a neck injury (whiplash) from a car accident. The appearance of these risk factors makes it more likely for an individual to be injured and more likely to have injuries of greater severity than someone without them.

  1. Female gender. Females are more likely to be injured in an auto accident than males.
  2. History of previous neck injury.
  3. Poor head restraint geometry. The position of your headrest can greatly affect the likelihood of neck injury. It is better if your headrest reaches all the way to the top of your head and if it is closer to you.
  4. Rear impact vector versus other impact vectors. Rear end accidents are more likely to cause a neck injury.
  5. Use of seat belts/shoulder harness (i.e. standard three point restraint). It is imperative that you wear a seatbelt while in a car because it prevents serious injuries and death. However, wearing a seatbelt does increase the risk of neck injury because it decreases body movement causing greater neck movement.
  6. Having a head/neck mass that is proportionally greater than your body mass. The bigger your head is, relative to your body, the more the neck movement that occurs.
  7. Out of position occupant (e.g. leaning forward/slumped at impact).
  8. Non-failure of seatback. If your seatback breaks and you fall backward during a crash that may decrease head and neck movement.
  9. Having the head turned at impact.
  10. Non awareness of impending impact. When people are not aware, they cannot brace for the impact. Bracing will help decrease head and neck movement.
  11. Increasing age (i.e. middle age and beyond). The older you are, the more likely it is that you will be injured.
  12. Front vs. rear seat position. Studies have shown that drivers and front seat passengers are more commonly injured than rear seat passengers.
  13. Impact by vehicle of greater mass. If you are hit by a bigger car, you are more likely to be injured.
  14. Crash speed under 10 mph.

Reference: Foreman S., Croft A. Whiplash Injuries The Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome Third Edition. Lippincott Williams &Wilkins Publ. 2002 pp. 361-367




DISCLAIMER: The information that appears on TheInjuryDoctors.com is presented to our prospective Las Vegas, NV patients who may have sustained injuries related to trauma from car accidents or other sources. The information is presented in summary form only and is intended to provide general understanding of neck injury and back injury topics. The information should not be used in place of a visit, call or consultation with a qualified neck and back doctor with specific training and certification to treat neck and back injuries related to car accidents, falls, or genetic predispositions. TheInjuryDoctors.com does not recommend the self-management of neck and back pain or injury. Information obtained by using TheInjuryDoctors.com is not exhaustive and does not cover all possible risks, ailments, or physical conditions related to car accident injuries or other neck and back injuries. Contact this office to schedule a consultation.

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Las Vegas Car Accident Doctors
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