Jason Stephens | October 30, 2023 | Car Accidents
Driving 30 miles per hour does not seem very fast when you are behind the wheel of a car. However, in a car crash, colliding with another object or person at this speed can cause a surprising amount of damage to you or the other person. Depending on the circumstances of your wreck, a crash at 30 miles per hour can be fatal.
The reason that collisions at this seemingly low speed can be so devastating comes down to three factors: the size of your vehicle, whether you crash into another vehicle or object, and any safety equipment you and any other people involved are using.
You Can Die in a 30 MPH Crash
Consider a car crash at 30 mph in which you are not wearing a seat belt. According to the Montana Department of Transportation, you experience the same forces and trauma as someone who falls from a three-and-one-half-story building or is hit by a 7,000-pound elephant.
Therefore, you must take automobile safety seriously every time you get into a car and buckle up. According to the National Safety Council, seat belts reduce the risk of death for drivers and front-seat passengers by 45%. Seat belts can also reduce the risk of a moderate or severe injury following a wreck by 50%.
Pedestrians Are Most At Risk of Dying in a 30 MPH Crash
Drawing on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, MoneyGeek.com analyzed pedestrians’ chances of injury or death following a car strike. According to its analysis, in a 30 mph collision with a car, pedestrians have a 6.8% chance of dying.
However, they have a 36.8% chance of suffering severe injuries such as internal bleeding, organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Some estimates are even higher. Brake.org, a UK-based charity, estimates that pedestrians struck by a car driving at 30 mph have a one in five chance of dying.
Injuries Commonly Seen in 30 MPH Car Crashes
Suppose that you are wearing your seat belt and driving in a passenger car when you collide with a stationary object or another similarly sized vehicle. While you may survive this crash, you can sustain severe injuries, such as:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Car accidents are a leading cause of concussions and other brain injuries. An airbag can help prevent you from hitting your head on a solid object and suffering blunt force trauma. However, you could still sustain brain trauma from whiplash.
Wearing a seat belt can save your life and prevent you from suffering a catastrophic injury. However, seat belts do not prevent all injuries. The force involved in a 30 mph car wreck can cause the seat belt to apply significant pressure to your pelvis, shoulder, collarbone, and chest. Any one of these bones can be partially or completely fractured as a result.
The same pressure that can break bones can also apply traumatic pressure to internal organs like your spleen. Symptoms of internal bleeding and ruptured organs may not be immediately apparent. However, the consequences could be fatal if these serious medical situations are not promptly treated.
Do Not Underestimate the Power of a 30 MPH Car Crash
It is easy to underestimate the harm that you or your loved one can sustain in a 30 mph crash, especially when you are in a car and wearing a seat belt. However, traveling at 30 mph and getting into a wreck is sufficient to cause considerable damage.
The best way to avoid such harm is to avoid getting into an accident in the first place. Because you cannot control other drivers, though, you should always wear a seat belt.
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