What is Whiplash?

The most common injury we deal with following an RTA or a car crash is whiplash. At Manners Pimblett we have years of extensive experience in dealing with accident claims for whiplash injuries. We can cite numerous separate definitions for the term "Whiplash" here is our researched version:


Whiplash:- "Whip - lash" term. "Vehicular Whiplash occurs when the soft tissue of the spine is placed under stress after the body is thrown in a sudden, forceful jerk."


Note we added the word vehicular? This is because whiplash can occur in a slip trip or a fall. Although not as common a vehicular whiplash, non vehicular whiplash is a complex anatomical effect caused by a natural reaction to a slip, trip or fall.

Let's take an in-depth look at whiplash?

If you can imagine the anatomical action that is needed to create a crack from a horse whip, the actual effort needed to make this crack sound is astounding and if you are not used to that sort of action i.e. raising your arm up high and bringing it down with so much speed and gusto that the horse whip flicks and the result is the audible crack, you could injure yourself!

Now use your imagination and apply the same process to your torso in a car accident? With your body restrained by a seatbelt, your limbs and head are free to move or flail about. Normally in a front impact collision in a car the whiplash process is triggered by almost instantaneous deceleration. The force of which can be calculated by the combined speeds of the two objects or cars.

The science bit.

If your car hits another car at 30 mph and the other car is doing 30 mph, the impact force involved in your traffic accident is a combined speed of 60 mph. If you hit an inanimate object, say a lamp post or a wall the force is vastly reduced; however the crumple zones in the "other vehicle" that would normally assist massive deceleration and dissipation of the force in an accident are no longer there. Plus the potential for injury through debris from the wall, fence or lamp post is greatly increased.

Cabin intrusion in a car, from fence posts or even brick debris are all too common causes of injury in a car accident. Not to mention loose objects from the car cabin, this normally includes items placed on the rear parcel shelf. It is an interesting fact that even a seemingly harmless box of tissues mass and density is drastic increased in a head on accident. After learning this, would you drive a lorry loaded with scaffolding poles? The other unfortunate aspect to cabin debris, is sometimes back-seat passengers can cause injury in a traffic accident to the driver and or passenger in the front of the car or vehicle.

The force of the traffic accident is communicated through everything involved in the accident, from the vehicle (or car) structure, to your head, arms, legs and body. A recent Government advert graphically depicted what internal injuries a human body can sustain if unrestrained in a car accident. The internal organs, spleen, liver, intestine, heart and lungs can all get jumbled around and pushed up against your rib cage. Although a lot of this does happen in a traffic accident even if you are wearing a seatbelt. The human body is designed to allow a certain amount of internal organ movement.

Whiplash is an injury to your neck and unless you are in a grown up sized baby seat or your have a motor sports style HANS device installed in your car, whiplash can not be avoided. So whiplash may be an injury you suffer as a result of a car or traffic accident.

Need to claim for a whiplash injury?

If you wish to make a claim for a traffic accident related injury then call the friendly team at Manners Pimblett for more details on Whiplash Injuries or making a "claim for whiplash" on 0845 077 0772.

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