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Can Adrenaline Really Lead to Superhuman Strength in Car Accidents?

According to Sun Sentinel, a Florida man died in a freak accident on February 10th, 2016. The 40-year-old driver pulled into a parking lot, got out, and was taken by surprise as his vehicle began rolling back into him. Witnesses believe the man was in a state of confusion after he had exited his vehicle. When the car began rolling backwards he attempted to re-enter through the door but his foot got caught under the wheel. He was thrown to the ground as the car rolled over him. As people came to help, they gathered wood and later a car jack to attempt to lift the car off of him, to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately in this case the good samaritans that quickly responded to the emergency were unable to lift the car off the victim being crushed underneath. However, there are countless tales of a few or even a single person being able to lift the car off a child, spouse, friend, or stranger. But are they true? In 2011, USF (University of South Florida) Bulls offensive lineman Danous Estenor responded to screams coming from across a parking lot. A tow truck driver had been pinned beneath a 1990 Cadillac Seville while working on it, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The car had slipped from the car jack and was crushing the man to death when Estenor arrived at the scene. A total of three people had been struggling and failing to lift the vehicle before Estenor go there. Estenor, who stands six feet and three inches tall and weighs 295 pounds said, “I felt this energy come, and I lifted it. I don’t know how.” Many other similar tales of exist, and most people have heard of superhuman strength in times of dire need. While an average person most likely would not be able to lift a normal sized car up off the ground by themselves, even with adrenaline pumping through their veins, two regular people might, if the conditions were right. Specifically, the conditions must call for an incredible burst of adrenaline, the hormone that is released in the largest quantities only in times of life and death situations.

How Adrenaline Increases a Person’s Strength

There is actual science behind these seemingly made-up or exaggerated stories. According to Vladimir Zatsiorsky, professor of kinesiology at Penn State, describes how a person has a given “absolute strength” of their muscles that is almost never used to the full potential. He has found that a normal person can tap into about 65 percent of their absolute strength, while a trained weight lifter or strength-based athlete can exceed 80 percent. Why does the body not allow the muscle’s full potential to be used? Because the body does not want to regularly put itself at such risk of tearing muscles, tendons, and damaging the central nervous system. Only in times of extreme needs, when adrenaline floods the system is a normal (or trained) person able to use 100 percent of their strength–their absolute strength. However, no one can exceed their absolute strength, meaning that an untrained 120 pound woman would never be able to lift a 3,000 pound vehicle off the ground, according to Scientific American.

Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident of any kind, contact the experienced car accident attorneys of Gillette Law, P.A. today at 888-366-5904. Our Florida and Georgia attorneys will advocate aggressively on your behalf to help ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.

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