Analysis of Sudden Natural Deaths While Driving with Forensic Autopsy Findings

Sudden natural death while driving has been insufficiently elucidated in Japan owing to the system of voluntary notification of relevant diseases when applying for driver's licenses and the low autopsy rates of traffic accident deaths. This report discusses the behaviors of the vehicles immediately after the drivers' death and the circumstances of the accidents with information obtained from police and the forensic autopsy findings. The results suggested that in a number of cases the cause of death of the driver might be misidentified as injuries resulting from an accident caused by human error such as delayed recognition, misjudgment or mishandling of the vehicle, if autopsy had not been performed. Furthermore, accidents caused by sudden natural death of the driver might be misclassified among fatal accidents in Japanese traffic statistics. The results demonstrate the importance of employing information gained from autopsy records in accident analysis to distinguish between fatal accidents and sudden natural death while driving, in order to clarify the degree to which human factors contribute to causing accidents.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings - 19th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Washington, D.C., June 6-9, 2005

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01070923
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 05-0112
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 2007 12:45PM