Crash Victims Save Face With Plastic Surgery
KE equals one-half MV squared. That’s the formula we use to calculate kinetic energy — the energy of a moving body. The M stands for the object’s mass, the V for its velocity.
When you take a massive object – say, a car – and move it at a high velocity, say 60 miles per hour, and then plug those numbers into the equation – well, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of energy in a moving car.
And in a car crash, all that energy is expended — on you.
Yes, even if you’re driving or riding in a modern car, with your seatbelts on and airbags ready, the sheer amount of energy transferred into your body by an impact makes it highly likely that you are going to suffer injury. However, thanks largely to better and safer automobiles and all that equipment, the chances of that energy causing your permanent disability or disfigurement are lower than ever.
And this is good news to plastic surgeons, who have the responsibility of repairing facial damage that results from car accidents.
According to a recent study of injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions, facial trauma is the most frequently-suffered injury by drivers and riders involved. Happily, the number of facial fractures dropped sharply between 1993 and 2005, and the trend shows no sign of slowing.
Numbers don’t lie, of course, and as long as people are driving or riding in cars while sharing the road with others, that kinetic energy equation is always going to be a factor. Fortunately, improved safety equipment and better vehicle design are reducing those risks.