Not wearing seat belts multiplies G-force leading to fatal injuries

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Not wearing seat belts multiplies G-force leading to fatal injuries

New Delhi: The G-force involved in a car or motor vehicle accident can easily cause serious injuries, damage to the organs, even leading to death as was observed in the case of Sunday’s accident that killed Cyrus Mistry.

In a crash, the G-force of the collision or the forces acting in the opposite direction of your vehicle’s acceleration makes a difference in injuries.

Study says that a person sitting in the car and not wearing seat belt at the time of accident experiences multiple times of G-force, leading to fatal injuries.

G-force is a measure of kinetic energy which someone’s body is subjected to, most-often during acceleration or deceleration. While 1g is equivalent to the earth’s gravitational pull, in an accident, however, the body may experience a tremendous amount of g-force in a very short period of time.

If a car moves faster, it creates more kinetic energy. When a car comes to a sudden or abrupt stop, all this kinetic energy has to go somewhere. A small portion is released as heat (tire friction), a lot of it goes into reshaping the vehicle as well as other vehicles that may come into contact with yours, but a significant amount of kinetic energy is absorbed by the body; more so if the occupant is not properly restrained by a seat belt.

According to GSU’s HyperPhysics project, a 160 lb person “wearing a seat belt and travelling at only 30 miles per houra” experiences around 30g of force in a front-end collision with a fixed object.

That’s 2.4 tonnes of force acting on the body. What’s worse is that if the vehicle occupant is not wearing a seat belt at the time of crash, he or she would likely experience 150g, or 12 tonnes of force.

The level of acceleration which occurs on the crash of a vehicle or an aircraft can vary from a few g to a peak acceleration of 150-200g, acting for 0.2 to 0.4 second.

While modern cars are equipped with devices to absorb much of the impact through air bags, automatic braking systems and others, it has been seen that not wearing seat belt during collisions generally lead to serious or fatal injuries.

Wearing seat belt reduces the impact of kinetic energy or massive G-force exerted on the person preventing, him from colliding with interiors, including the dashboard of the car.


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