Pattern Of Injury Of Vehicle Occupants

Road traffic accidents are some of the most common causes of deaths in the modern times. This may be due to the increased number of vehicles on the road, which increases this incidence. From major accidents to minor accidents we see all of them happening on a daily basis and the number only seems to be increasing all the time. So it is important that we understand how these dynamics work and what kind of injuries that can be sustained in the process of it. Because only then can risk assessment be done.

The Determinants That Play a Role

The type of vehicle in theory makes little difference to the mechanism of injury, but most statistical surveys divide them into cars and light vans under 1.5 tons, on the one hand and heavier vehicles, such as trucks and buses, on the other, though the latter have different features more akin to passenger aircraft. Heavy goods vehicles such as trucks that have undergone axle group weighing, naturally suffer less than cars and light vans, and also due to their height above the ground. Structural damage from impact with other smaller vehicles is lesser and commonly occur below the level of that of the driver.

Even though the deceleration forces are smaller the occupants of the vehicle are still at risk of incurring the same injuries and patterns of injury. Light vans are virtually identical to cars with respect to the front-seat occupants. In fact they may be more at risk, as modern vans tend to be flat-fronted and thus have little or no ‘crumple’ potential to increase the stopping time. Concentrating on cars, the most common vehicular casualty, the form of injury changes according to the position of the occupant.

Numerous investigations have been made by road research organizations and manufacturers of truck weighbridges using dummies and actual corpses, together with sophisticated recording equipment and high-speed cinematography. These have established a detailed picture of the sequence of events in automobile crashes. When the most common event – frontal impact – occurs, the unrestricted driver of the vehicle t slides forwards in such a way that his legs hit the fascia/parcel-shelf area, and his/her front or lower part of the chest comes into contact with the lower part of the steering wheel. The body after this flexes over the steering wheel.