Expert Fitting Service

Death in less than a second!

Car Crash


Death of a car driver in 7/10ths of a second.

"John Collins", 38, of 210 Hill Place, was instantly killed last night when his car struck a tree on the main road, two miles east ..... "

Daily newspapers carry thousands of new items similar to this every year. It is a tragically common form of death, but one, which very little has been known.

Distinguished medical experts have written detailed post-mortem reports on crash victims. The primary reason for the report was to reduce fatalities by making cars safer, more crash proof. Out of it have come recommendations for safety belts, different types of steering wheel etc. But out of the report has also come something else; the terrifying picture of what happens to steel and glass, to flesh and blood in those last split seconds when a human being is hurled into eternity.

This is a slow motion, split second reconstruction of what happens when a car travelling at 55 mph, crashes into a solid, immovable tree;

1/10th OF A SECOND: The front bumper and chromium radiator grille collapse. Slivers of steel penetrate the tree to depths of one and a half inches and more.

2/10th : The bonnet crumples as it rises, smashing into the windscreen. Spinning rear wheels leave the ground. The radiator disintegrates. The wings come into contact with the tree, forcing the rear pads to splay out over the front door.

In the same second tenth of a second: The heavy structural members of the car begin to act as a brake on the terrific forward momentum of the body, but the drivers body continues to move forward at the vehicles original speed. This means of force of 10 times gravity his body weight 3200. His legs, ramrod-straight, snap at the knee joint.

3/10th : The driver's body is now off the seat, torso upright, broken knees pressing against the dashboard. The plastic and steel frame of the steering wheel begins to bend under his terrible death grip. His head is now near the sun visor, his chest above the steering column.

4/10th : The cars front 24 inches have been completely demolished, but the rear end is still travelling at an estimated speed of 35 miles per hour. The driver's body is still travelling at 55 MPH. The engine block crushes into the tree. The rear of the car, like a bucking horse, rises high enough to scrape bark of low branches.

5/10th : The driver's fear frozen hands bend the steering column into an almost vertical position. The force of gravity impales him on the steering column. Jagged steel punctures lung and intercostal arteries. Blood spurts into the lung.

6/10th : So great is the force of impact that the driver's feet are ripped from his tightly laced shoes. The brake pedal sheers at the floorboards. The chassis bends in the middle. The driver's head smashes into the windscreen. The rear of the car begins its downward fall, with spinning wheels digging into the ground.

7/10th : The entire, writhing body of the car is forced out of shape. Hinges tear. Doors spring open. In one last convulsion the seat rams forward, pinning the driver against the cruel steel of the steering column. Blood leaps from his mouth. Shock has frozen his heart. He is now dead.




Death of a Motorcycle Rider driver in 1.42 seconds.

We all know that a small vehicle generally has a significant disadvantage during most accident situations. Lack of mass and compact physical dimensions often account for serious injuries under conditions where had they been in a larger vehicle the injuries would not have been so significant.

What about the poor motorcyclist?

He operates in a stream of traffic with hazards far more extreme than those confronting the occupants of a small vehicle. He has minimal structural vehicle protection and often comes into direct physical contact with the opposing vehicle. Unlike the motorist, who is enveloped in the protective shield of his passenger compartment, it is the motorcyclist's body that serves as the energy absorbing structure. His fate so often depends on the nature of the impacted structure and the chance orientation of his body as it strikes the vehicle/object.

Consider then the effects of a 40mph impact into the side of an emerging car.

As the motorcycle contacts the front door of the car the inertia of the front wheel is such that it penetrates 6 inches into the door

15ms (milliseconds), the wheel contacts its engine. The rider starts to slide forwards on the seat.

At 25ms the motorcycle frame experiences a deceleration of 39g. The front wheel continues to crush further into the door of the car and it collapses as the engine starts to penetrate the side plane of the car.

63ms the maximum penetration reaches 34 inches. The motorcyclist's knees are buried into the side of the car whilst he is still in a seat posture after sliding forward onto the fuel tank.

55ms his legs sustained a deceleration of 71g. The pivotal action of the knee contact rotates the rider to a standing position bringing his chest forcibly against the 'A' pillar.

80ms, he experiences a deceleration of 109g. The sudden deceleration of the chest flails the head forwards over the top of the car; the helmet strap stretches.

105ms allows the face to strike the roof at 105g. Following this the helmet latch disengages depriving the rider of head protection during any subsequent collision with the car or road surface.

The motorcycle and rider fall motionless to the road.

TIME ELAPSED - 1.42 seconds


Just got home after a 2x10 shift.

We had a serious fatal accident in my town this afternoon. Can't go into too much detail because the driver will almost certainly be appearing in court but....

Ford Escort containing 5 youths driving into town. Witnesses make certain remarks about the speed of the vehicle (read into that what you will).

For some reason the car mounts the pavement and collides into a mother with two children (one in a buggy) the elder child (3 yr old girl) is crushed against a wall and killed outright.

She is so badly mangled about the head that we cannot allow father to even see her at the mortuary.

Driver breath tested at the hospital resulting in requirement to provide blood sample (no evidential breath test machines at hospital of course).

Officers at the hospital report the youths from the car as 'laughing and joking' as relatives of the deceased child and badly injured mother arrive.

Back at the station I get a telephone call from an irate gentleman who is extremely unhappy at being made to wait in a traffic jam because the road where the accident occurred is closed for accident investigation purposes. (He knew that a child had been killed).

He demanded to know why I hadn't used more of my officers on traffic control. (I'd only got three patrols on duty in the whole area!)

Who'd be a copper?

Kev (Senior Traffic Officer)



thetattooremovalcompany.co.uk   call
Copyright 1991 - 2015 Unless specified otherwise, the layout, design and content of this web-site are
the copyright material of the The UK SpeedTrap Guide and Steven J Warren.
The UK SpeedTrap Guide and Steven J Warren. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this website is provided purely for information purposes.

Contact & Info - Linking to this Site - Links - Legal Stuff - Permissions Info - Republishing Info - Disclaimer