In automobile accidents the folks inside bigger vehicles are usually safer. This is due to one of the basic laws of physics: momentum conservation. This principle says the total combined momentum of two colliding objects just prior to a collision is equal to the total combined momentum of the objects after the collision. Additionally, the transfer of forces to each object is inversely proportionate to their individual weight. This means smaller objects absorb more of the force from the collision, like when a larger football player tackle a smaller one and after they collide the two of them tend to move the direction the bigger player was running.
Momentum conservation is why a smaller vehicle in a collision is pushed harder and farther than a larger one. The smaller vehicle and its occupants absorb more of the combined force from the collision leading to an increased risk of serious injury. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has collected and analyzed auto accident death rates for more than 30 years. Their data found that 15 of the 20 deadliest vehicles were small cars or minicars.
The principle of momentum conservation applies not just to cars and football players, but to any two objects that collide. Accidents involving a car or truck striking a pedestrian or someone on a bicycle or motorcycle have some of the most severe bodily injuries and highest risk of a wrongful death. Large differences in weight between the two colliding objects lead to a more drastic transfer of forces. This helps explain why large vehicles may be safer for their occupants, but can be more dangerous for everyone else sharing the road.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, you shouldn’t have to fight the insurance companies alone. Contact Cooney Law Offices today to learn how we can help.