Can I Get Whiplash If I was Hit From The Side?
What is Side Collision Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries result from collisions which forcefully and suddenly throw the occupant of the vehicle forward (from flexion) and backward (extension) causing a whip-like form of injury. This is quite different from side collisions or T-bone accidents which have a unique nature depending on the place which the target vehicle was struck (front, middle or rear), and more importantly the small space between the vehicle’s occupant and the location of the strike which causes more injuries.

For instance, if you ever participated in local fairs, you may have experienced or seen what happens to a person when their Bumper Car is struck in the front end. The bumper car spins around leaving the occupant hanging for dear life. Likewise, a side impact to the back of the target car will spin the rear end around. An occupant may grip the wheel and tuck his/her head by shrugging shoulders, making his or her body rigid therefore avoiding being thrown around as much as the one who doesn’t anticipate the impact. The occupant suffers all of the crash force because the cars don’t crush or dent due to no plastic deformity where the damage happens but only elastic deformity with no energy absorption or damage from the car crash.


Some of the factors associated with collisions include; road conditions, angle and springiness of the seat back, the patient’s build (muscular vs. tall or skinny), the neck’s position during the impact, the size of target vehicle or bullet, and the lack of or deployment of airbags.

Safety Measures

Some vehicle manufacturers have stood out in setting out measures to protect the driver or passengers in side-impact collisions. Common safety implementations consider factors like side impact airbags, small space on the vehicles’ sides, and elastic or plastic deformity. Vehicles with stiff roof structures and sides are actually the best at protecting occupants from any injury. Their safety mechanism system incorporates the ability to dissipate the impact’s energy or force from injuring the occupant and maintain the survival space. Subaru, Volvo and Mercedes manufacturers have implemented this design for decades, therefore remaining as the frontrunners for passenger protection in terrible side-impact collisions. Additionally, the combination of side airbags with the energy absorbing side-structure design has increasingly improved the crashworthiness of vehicles in side-impact collisions. Since gaining popularity in the 1990s, side impact airbags have been equipped in over 95% of all the vehicles sold in the US as standard equipment.


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