Predicting Driver from Front Passenger Using Only the Post-Mortem Pattern of Injury Following a Motor Vehicle Collision

This article reports on a study that investigated whether post-mortem injury patterns would be useful in distinguishing drivers from front seat passengers among victims of motor vehicle accidents, without regard to collision type, vehicle type, or if safety equipment had been used. The study included injuries sustained by 206 drivers and 91 front seat passengers. Injuries were coded from the post-mortem reports for the body region, depth, and location of the injury. Results showed that drivers were more likely to sustain brain injury, fractures to the right femur, right posterior ribs, base of skill, right humerus, and right shoulder, and superficial wounds at the right lateral and posterior thigh, right face, right and left anterior knee, right anterior shoulder, lateral right arm and forearm, and left anterior thigh. Front passengers were more vulnerable to splenic injury, to fractures to the left posterior and anterior ribs, left shoulder and left femur, and to superficial wounds at the left anterior shoulder region and left lateral neck. Readers are reminded that in Australia, where the study data was gathered, drivers are seated on the right side of the vehicle. The authors assume that the pattern of sidedness show that both drivers and passengers are injured by lateral structures in the vehicle such as the door and window pillars. The authors generated a predictive model based on these injuries; the overal predictive accuracy of the model was 69.3%. They conclude by calling for a larger study to verify the accuracy of their predictive model and its possible use to forensic medicine.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Curtin, Eleanor
    • Langlois, Neil EI
  • Publication Date: 2007-10


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01103531
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 22 2008 5:14PM