PMID: 591051Nov 1, 1977

Spinal injuries in belt-wearing car occupants killed by head-on collisions

G Sköld, G E Voigt


In 34 post-mortem examinations of car occupants wearing seat belts and killed in straight or oblique head-on collisions, a thorough investigation of the spine was performed. The autopsy results were correlated with the findings in the cars in order to reconstruct the events when the occupant's body struck the interior of the car. In 2 cases the victims had worn lap belts, in 15 cases shoulder belts and in 17 cases combined shoulder-lap belts (three-point belts). In victims involved in head-on collisions while wearing lap belts, fractures of the neural arch of the axis were found which were probably due to flexion of the neck pivoting round the lower part of the impacting face and simultaneous stretching of the neck. Severe injuries to the cervical spine in those victims wearing shoulder belts were mainly due to the occupant sliding under the belt which then caught the neck and mandible. Such injuries were also caused by the impact of the head against forward parts of the car. In those wearing shoulder-lap belts injuries to the upper part of the cervical spine resulted from the impact of the head against internal parts of the car. When a slight impact of the head occurred minor injuries to the lower cervical spine were seen. Inj...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Traffic Accidents
Automobile Driving
Facial Injuries
Seat Belts
Spinal Injuries

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