An accident takes just a split second in real time. Someone drifts across the center line and hits your car head-on. The airbag explodes forward. Your head hits the airbag, bounces back against the headrest, and your vehicle comes to a stop.
As you get out, it feels like the headrest and the airbag did their jobs. You don’t have any cuts or lacerations. You don’t have any skull fractures or broken bones.
That’s good, but do not assume it means you got out of the wreck without injury. You still run the risk of a serious brain injury.
The issue, experts point out, is that your body rapidly decelerates during the crash. It’s a violent motion. You’re going from 55 miles per hour to nothing in just a second or two. Your head is coming to a complete stop as it hits the airbag and then actually reversing direction as it slams into the back of the chair.
Your brain is not made for that type of violent, rapid back-and-forth movement. When you hit the airbag, your brain slams into the inside of your skull in the front. It then slams into the back of your skull when your head hits the headrest. That’s two heavy impacts in almost no time at all, and they can cause serious damage. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to memory loss, bleeding on the brain and all sorts of other issues, even when all the damage is hidden.
This is why it is so important to get proper medical treatment. When that leads to high medical bills, make sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation.