THE ROLE OF ATMOSPHERIC CARBON MONOXIDE IN VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

A literature search was performed to determine the state of knowledge of the degree to which atmospheric carbon monoxide occurring in the heavy traffic of urban trafficways is a contributing factor to vehicle accidents. The mechanism for the potential causation of accidents by atmospheric CO is the displacement of oxygen in the blood of drivers, which results in levels of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) of 5 to 20% after several hours exposure to typical traffic induced concentrations of atmospheric CO. With such concentrations, the performance of complex tasks as well as many visual tasks has been found to be impaired slightly. Attempts to relate high levels of atmospheric CO or blood COHb to accidents have suggested that driver fatalities do have higher levels of COHb than do drivers not involved in an accident. However, the degree to which this is cause of smoking rather than absorption of atmospheric CO has not been determined. A correlation of atmospheric oxidant levels with the accident rates has been established. Neither of these results is a basis for demonstrating atmospheric CO as a contributing cause of accidents.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Stanford Research Institute

    333 Ravenswood Avenue
    Menlo Park, CA  United States  94025
  • Authors:
    • Yarbroff, I
    • Myers, E
    • Fend, V
    • David, N
    • ROBERTSON, M
  • Publication Date: 1974-2

Media Info

  • Pagination: 96 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00265106
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1975 12:00AM