7/10th of a second 

At 60mph your life expectancy may be 7/10ths of a second.

 1/10th of a second

The front bumper and radiator grille collapse.


 2/10th of a second

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 bus, forcing the rear parts to splay out over the front doors.

In the same 2nd tenth of a second, the heavy structural members of the car begin to act as a brake on the terrific forward momentum of the vehicle, but the driver’s body continues to move forward at the vehicle’s original speed (60mph).

This means a force of 20 times that of gravity.

A body weighing 74kgs (eleven and a half stone) now weighs 1460 kgs (two hundred and thirty stone).

His legs, ramrod straight, snap at the knee joints.


3/10th of a second

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 closing with the steering column.


4/10th of a second

The car’s front 60 cms have been completely demolished, but the rear end is still travelling at an estimated speed of 35 miles per hour (16 metres per second).

The driver’s body is still travelling at 60 miles per hour.

The engine block crunches into the bus.

The rear of the car, like a bucking bronco, rises two metres into the air.


5/10 th of a second

The driver’s fear-frozen hands bend the steering column into an almost vertical position. The force of his momentum impales him on the steering column.

Broken ribs puncture lungs and arteries. Blood spurts into the lungs.


6/10th of a second

So great is the force of the impact that the driver’s feet are severed as the brake and accelerator pedals cross.

The chassis bends in the middle, shearing body bolts.

The driver’s head smashes into the windscreen.

The rear of the car begins its downward fall, with spinning wheels digging into the ground when they land.


7/10th of a second

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 steering column.

Blood spurts from his mouth.  Shock has frozen his heart.



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Page Last Updated on 05/9/2011