Land Motor Vehicle-Related Drownings in Sweden
2008 (English)In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 9, no 6, 539-543 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: Knowledge regarding drownings related to land motor vehicle events is limited although reports of these events occur globally. This study elucidates crash and injury mechanisms in motor vehicle-related drownings in a Swedish population during 1992 through 2006 in order to suggest preventive countermeasures. Methods: The cases were identified in the National Board of Forensic Medicine database and crosschecked against the official statistics. All available autopsy reports, hospital records, and police records were analyzed. In addition, corresponding in-depth analyses performed by the Swedish Road Administration were reviewed and analyzed. Results: In total, 83 drownings occurred in 64 vehicles. The great majority of victims had no serious injuries (92% MAIS ≤ 2) and would probably have survived if they had not drowned. Most events took place in waters directly adjacent to a roadway (36%) or bridge (34%). The vehicles were most often (72%) found upside down, and most drownings occurred in shallow water (65% depth <2 m). One third (32%) of the drivers tested positive for alcohol (mean BAC of 2.0 g/L; range 0.16-2.6). The majority (69%) of the fatalities could possibly have been prevented if effective guardrails had been in place. Conclusions: Drownings in motor vehicles are not negligible events and in many cases they are preventable. Sufficient design and placement of guardrails can minimize these events, but further experimental investigation should be conducted to better understand these events and how to optimize vehicle design, rescue operations, and self-rescue.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2008. Vol. 9, no 6, 539-543 p.
Accident Prevention; Alcohol; Drowning; Immersion; Injuries; Motor Vehicles
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Forensic Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123326DOI: 10.1080/15389580802339150OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-123326DiVA: diva2:945273