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Newton's first law tells us that "Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it." The wall applies a massive force on the car resulting in it stopping very fast. Unless the people in the car are attached to it by seat belts that can apply a force to them to stop them then they carry on moving in the direction the car was travelling in. Since the windshield is in this direction they hit it and if the car was travelling fast enough go through it and hit the wall. Moral of the story - Wear your seat belt!

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Q: Why do people hit the windshield when a car crashes into a wall?
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