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Main causes of death in motor vehicle accidents in an area of modest traffic density
Published June 23, 1992 by International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine in Sweden
Event: 12th World Congress of the International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine and 7th Nordic Congress on Traffic Medicine (1992)
The causes of death were analyzed in victims of traffic accidents (and suicides) involving one or more motor vehicles. Details of the main injuries were collected from the reports of the local investigating teams with respect to 169 traffic deaths which occurred during 1988-90. These involved 93 drivers or passengers in a car, 17 motorcycles, 19 cyclists and 40 pedestrians.
The car drivers dies most often (42%) of injuries to the chest organs (aorta or cardiac rupture, chest compression with asphyxia). Skull/brain injures were the second group (38 per cent). Abdominal organ injury was the cause of death in 9% of cases and spinal cord lesions in 7%. A similar pattern was also observed in the passengers. The drivers had lethal injuries to an average of 1.3 organs and the passengers 1.2. The most frequent lethal injury for motorcyclists was to the skull or brain (75%). Thorax injuries were the cause of death in only 2 cases out of 17. An average of 1.2 organs had suffered lethal injury. The cyclists mostly died of skull/brain injuries (79%) and 15% of cardiac ruptures, and a similar pattern was seen in pedestrians, who had an average of 1.3 lethal injuries.