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    A Bad Day for Sandy Dayton  

Part 2: The Emergency Room

Sandy got out of her car, and started shaking. She couldn't believe she was OK - the car certainly wasn't. The driver of the delivery truck came over to her and said, "Lady are you crazy - why'd you slam on your brakes? The light was just turning yellow! This accident is your fault!" He then ran over to the policeman and repeated his statements -- in fact he repeated his statements several times to the gathering crowd. Sandy was still shaking when the Newark policeman came over and said, "I'm Officer Matthews, are you feeling all right or would you like to be taken to the emergency room?" Sandy told him that her chest hurt from the shoulder strap of her seatbelt, and her neck hurt, but other than that she felt OK. Her car was a "vintage" 1978 Ford, with fixed seatbelts and no air bags. Officer Matthew suggested that she be checked at the emergency room, and called for an emergency vehicle to take her there. He reassured her that he would come to the hospital to get more information from her.

One hour later, Sandy was still waiting for some x-rays and an EKG when Officer Matthews walked in. She was still giving him information when the nurse came to get her for the medical tests. Officer Matthews returned to the police station to finish the sketch of the accident and record some of the measurements and data he had gathered while investigating the accident.

Questions:

  1. What are some reasons that Officer Matthews suggested that Sandy go to the emergency room?
  2. Why was she having x-rays and EKG?
  3. Describe what happens to a person's body in a rear-end collision in terms of forces on the car and body.
  4. What are the safety advantages of flexible seatbelts and air bags?
 
  © Barbara Duch, Univ. of Delaware, 2001.
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