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What forces are involved in a crash?

A moving vehicle has a massive amount of kinetic and momentum force and if these occur in a crash, this massive amount of momentum force needs to be absorbed, which can be very deadly and causes a lot of damages.

car crashes to a tree

The heavier the vehicle, the faster the speed and the greater the amount of momentum energy that needs to be absorbed in case of a crash.

Another major consideration on the amount of the momentum force and impact of the crash is whether the car comes to a sudden stop or comes to stop gradually.

If you are driving at a faster speed and have an accident that causes you to come to a sudden stop when hitting the other object, the momentum force will have much more forceful impact and therefore more damage to your vehicle and more injuries to your body.

If you can slow down before hitting the object, or there is a longer time involved for your vehicle to come to a stopping point, the momentum force will have less forceful impact and therefore less damage to your vehicle or less injuries to your body.

If you have a head-on collision with another vehicle, or if you hit a solid object that is not movable such as a building, a concrete structure, a big rock or a tree, the momentum force will have a much stronger and forceful impact because it needs to be absorbed instantly.

If you hit another vehicle with the same opposite angle and speed, the larger, heavier vehicle will have a greater momentum force and, therefore, will cause more damage to the smaller, lighter vehicle. The larger, heavier vehicle may push the smaller, lighter vehicle backward and even crush the smaller vehicle.

If you are in a situation in which you cannot avoid an accident, make sure that you do not hit any person because your vehicle's momentum force will be fatal. Try to direct your wheels toward bushes (not large trees), sands, snow, or sand barrels placed in front of freeway abutments, and avoid hitting a person, another vehicle or solid, immovable objects.