When you imagine motor vehicle crashes, what do you picture in your mind? Probably two vehicles going at high rates of speed striking each other with serious outcomes for the drivers and passengers. Or a vehicle traveling like the wind that eventually strikes something such as a guardrail or building with tremendous force.
But not all collisions are like that. Some crashes take place at relatively slow speeds.
Low-speed collisions can be hazardous. A low-impact crash – which is one that takes place at speeds of 15 miles per hour or less and is sometimes referred to as a “fender bender” – can definitely hurt drivers and their passengers.
What can lead to a low-impact crash?
Here are a few common explanations for these kinds of crashes:
- Not making appropriate driving adjustments for conditions like water-logged roads or bad weather
- Ignoring blind spots
- Not being able to see the road, your surroundings or oncoming traffic clearly
- Leaving inadequate space between your car and the vehicle in front
- Allowing distractions to take your focus off driving
- Being in a hurry
How do low-impact crashes occur?
Driving out of a parking spot by going in reverse without looking behind your vehicle first is one way that such a crash can happen. Hitting the car in front in heavy traffic that is sluggishly moving forward is another.
Injuries you or your passengers can sustain in low-impact crashes
You are susceptible to injury if your body is in an awkward position when a collision happens. Turning sharply to see if there is anything behind you when you back up is one example. Neck injuries and whiplash can happen in crashes at low speeds. Your neck or head can be jerked backward and forward rapidly from the impact.
Don’t underestimate the way low-impact crashes can hurt you
Just because you and another car are traveling slowly does not mean that you won’t be harmed, possibly seriously, if there is a crash. If such a collision affects you, get your injuries examined and treated by a doctor, then consider whether you have any legal recourse.