Minor Crashes and 'Whiplash' in the United States

This paper describes how there is currently a paucity of available real world minor rear crash data with struck vehicle delta-V, or speed change, less than or equal to 15 kilometers per hour in the United States. These data are essential as researchers attempt to define 'whiplash' injury risk potential in these minor crashes. This study analyzed a new set of 105 U.S. minor rear aligned crashes between passenger vehicles. Mean struck vehicle delta-V and acceleration were 6.3 km/h (s.d. = 2.1 km/h) and 1.4 g (s.d. = 0.5 g), respectively. A total of 113 struck vehicle occupants were diagnosed within five weeks post-crash with 761 ICD-9-CM complaints and 427 AIS injuries (99.5% AIS1) attributed to the crashes. No striking vehicle occupants reported complaints. The main ICD-9-CM diagnoses were 40.6% cervical, 22.5% lumbar/sacral and 10.2% thoracic and the main AIS1 diagnoses were 29.7% cervical, 23.2% lumbar/sacral and 14.3% thoracic. The diagnosis disparity was mainly due to coding for pre-existing degenerative diagnosis in ICD-9-CM. Degenerative spine conditions were not significant for increased AIS1 injury risk. Surprisingly, many non-'whiplash' diagnoses were found. The AIS injury diagnosis distribution and frequency in these minor delta-V crashes did not correspond with previous minor rear crash studies. A prospectively collected and unbiased minor rear crash databank in the model of CIREN or NASS is highly desirable to verify or refute these results for the U.S. population since the current study cohort may have been influenced by litigation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 117-128
  • Monograph Title: Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. 52nd Annual Scientific Conference, San Diego, California, October 2008
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153588
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 29 2010 10:56AM