# Impact

What would be the damage to and 4500lb vehicle from the impact of a 78000lb vehicle at 5 mph and at 10 mph?

What are you planning to hit with your Honda Element? A fully loaded tractor trailer?

Basically, the effect of a lighter vehicle hitting a much heavier vehicle is similar to hitting a concrete wall. So, imagine driving the Element into a concrete wall at 5 mph and 10 mph. That’s pretty much what you could expect.

You need to clarify the question. Bumper height difference between the vehicles can make a difference, but frame damage is improbable.

Is the 78,000 pound object hitting the 4,500 pound vehicle, or is it the other way around?

Who’s moving 5 mph or 10 mph, at what angle, and is one of the vehicles not moving and which one?

BTW, a Honda Element is not 4500 lbs. 3516 lbs for 2WD, 3641 lbs. for 4WD.

Is this a ‘what if’ question or did your Honda get creamed by a tractor trailer in a lopsided demolition derby? I hope you are OK.

If your #'s are correct a 78,000 lb vehicle would push the 4,500 vehicle @ 5 or 10 mph and cause a lot of damage. The weight difference would put the smaller vehicle at an overwhelming disadvantage. Assuming bumpers that were of equal height, the initial impact would bust up the bumpers and the lighter car would begin to be pushed. Fenders and quarter panels would start to buckle. If the heavier truck were still under power it could push the lighter car as long as it wanted to. If the weight of the heavier vehicle was a typo and is 7,800 lbs, the same damage would occur but it would be harder to push the lighter vehicle as far. In a normal collision brakes would be applied, air bags activate which frequently shut the fuel off, the heavier vehicle would still push the lighter vehicle, but maybe not as far. Both would be damaged. Unfortunately bumpers are not at the same height and the larger vehicle may go over the smaller cars bumper and bust up a lot of the trunk or engine compartment depending on which end got hit.

A Lot.

To clarify, there are so many variables involved (even more than Steve mentioned) that it’s impossible for us to tell you.

Thank God, yes, I think I am ok. The situation: I entered a T-shaped alley heading west as a Mack truck coming from the north (long end of the T) turning east headed toward the front of my element. I saw him through the right of my windshield before he turned and I swerved to the left and sped up but he caught the passangers side of my vehicle tearing off the outside panels as I was pushed left sideways and rocked from left to right digging my wheels into the dirt beside the alley then I turned my wheels right to enter the concrete again. I flew out of my seat and bounced from left to right until I was able to regain traction onto the concrete and stop my vehicle.

The situation: I entered a T-shaped alley heading west as a Mack truck coming from the north (long end of the T) turning east headed toward the front of my element. I saw him through the right of my windshield before he turned and I swerved to the left and sped up but he caught the passangers side of my vehicle tearing off the outside panels as I was pushed left sideways and rocked from left to right digging my wheels into the dirt beside the alley then I turned my wheels right to enter the concrete again. I flew out of my seat and bounced from left to right until I was able to regain traction onto the concrete and stop my vehicle.

The body shop will tell you exactly what damage has been done to the car. Leave it to the pros who can see the car first hand.

This is a fairly decent exercise in ‘What If?’, but the pros will be able to actually see, touch, and measure the real damage.

The problem is their insurance is advising me that based on what statements were given, the fault may be mine and the other driver is dishonest and claiming to have slowed at the intersection. This is not true because the time it took him to hit my car from the time I saw him was about 2 seconds.

Don’t talk to their insurance. Talk to your insurance. Collisions like this is why you pay for insurance. Let the pros handle it.

The problem is that truck drivers have much more to lose when at fault. Their insurance rates would make you cry. They have an incentive to put the blame on you.

Who’s intersection had the stop sign?
Remind the insurance company that their driver is required to come to a stop at ALL stop signs, and that their driver did not.

The fact that their truck did not yield the right of way for your car is all that matters.

I am assuming that the truck was supposed to stop, and you had the right of way.
If that’s not the case, then I’m sorry, but you need to pay more attention to intersections when you are driving, and come to a complete stop yourself.

BC.

This was an alley so there was no stop sign but the driver was heading south on the long end of a T-shaped alley. When he approached the intersection he did not pause but continued at his fast pace around the corner. Therefore, he did not first check to see if anyone else was on the short end of the T-shaped alley before he turned into it. Clearly this was caused him to be at fault for not driving with safe prcautions at an intersection