It is common knowledge that accidents that occur at high speeds can cause significant damage and injuries. However, what is less commonly known is that low-impact collisions can be just as dangerous and damaging. Many studies have been conducted regarding low-impact collisions, both front- and rear-end crashes. The studies conclude that serious injuries do occur frequently in low-impact collisions, even when damage to the vehicle is minor.
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Conservation of linear momentum is one reason for common low-impact collision injuries, such as whiplash. This is the scientific explanation that when a body is in motion, it retains its total momentum unless an external force is applied. Newton’s First Law of Motion says that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, while a body in motion tends to remain in motion. In both cases, they remain at rest or in motion until an external, unbalanced force changes something. Newton’s Second Law says that a body’s acceleration is directly proportionate to the force and mass of the body, while Newton’s third Law says that for every force on the body, there is an equal but opposite force reacting as well. These laws of physics explain how serious injury can occur even when there is only slight damage to a vehicle.