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Journal Article


Richter M, Pape HC, Otte D, Krettek C. Injury 2005; 36(4): 484-488.


Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover 30625, Germany.


(Copyright © 2005, Elsevier Publishing)






PURPOSE:: The purpose of this study was to characterize changes in the mechanism and pattern of injury for vehicular trauma victims with modern vehicle design. Crash and injury severity were specifically investigated to isolate the influence of these improvements in vehicle design. METHODS:: Since 1972, a local, prospective, assessment of vehicular trauma victims on-scene and at medical institutions providing care has been performed including the following parameters: delta-v, collision speed, type of road using, abbreviated injury scale (AIS), injury severity score (ISS), incidence of polytrauma or death. Victims (for restrained car occupants, bicyclists, pedestrians) injured between 1973 and 1978, and between 1994 and 1999 were compared. RESULTS:: Lower crash severity (delta-v, collision speed) and injury severity (AIS, ISS, incidence of polytrauma or death) were measured for restrained car occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians during the later period. The correlation coefficient between delta-v or vehicle collision speed and ISS was higher in the earlier period for car occupants, cyclists and pedestrians. CONCLUSIONS:: This study suggests that the observed reduction in injury severity in restrained car occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians is not only linked to the reduction of crash severity, but also related to improvements in vehicle design beyond seat-belt use. Passive car safety led to decreased injury severity - a comparison.


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