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Journal Article

Citation

Williams AF, Goins SE. Am. J. Public Health 1981; 71(3): 275-279.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1981, American Public Health Association)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

7468860

PMCID

PMC1619815

Abstract

In 1978, 345 persons were killed in the United States in jumps and falls from non-crashing motor vehicles: 64 per cent fell; 15 per cent jumped; and it was not known whether the other 21 per cent jumped or fell. Two hundred and one people had been traveling on the exterior of vehicles, especially truck beds, and almost all of these people fell from their vehicles. The other 144 fatalities involved people in passenger compartments. Many of the falls from compartments occurred when occupants opened doors, or when vehicles changed direction. Seventy-seven per cent of those who fell from passenger compartments were males, and 44 per cent were less than five years old. Among those who jumped from vehicle compartments, 62 per cent were women and all were older than 14 years. Fatal falls and jumps from vehicles could be reduced in a variety of ways. These include legislation to prohibit travel on vehicle exteriors, designing vehicles so that doors cannot be opened when in motion, improving door designs, installing signals that provide warning if doors are not closed completely, and using occupant restraints.

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