No Vehicle Damage = No Auto Injury. Right?
Wrong.

St. Augustine·Palatka

Car crashes with minor vehicle damage are a little confusing; if the car wasn't damaged much, it must have been a very minor crash, and so the occupant shouldn't have auto injuries. Right?

Wrong.

In fact, researchers have specifically looked at this problem, and have found that there is no relationship at all between the amount of damage a car received in a crash and the amount of occupant injury.

Here are the facts about low impact collisions:

  • Minor vehicle damage may mean that there was very little impact, but it also could simply mean that the vehicle was very rigid. In this article on the myth of low impact collisions we show a crash with very little vehicle damage can actually be more dangerous than one with extensive damage.
  • Bumpers are designed to protect cars — not people. Here's a great video that explains how stiffer bumpers are "better" — but only for repair bills, not your neck! Click here to watch the bumper video.

(If you have trouble opening the videos, visit the IIHS site here and click on the videos link.)

Click here to watch crash video
  • Sometimes insurance companies will use an "accident reconstructionist" to "calculate" how severe a particular crash was. In this article, we show how low speed collisions are too complex to estimate after the fact.
  • Studies have found that in some patients, ligament damage can occur, even in minor impacts.