Asphyxia in Motor Vehicle Crashes: Analysis of Crash-Related Variables Using National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System and Forensic Case Studies
Rates of death because of asphyxia in motor vehicle crashes have been previously estimated using county and statewide data sets, but national estimates have not been reported. The literature regarding asphyxia in motor vehicle crashes primarily involves discussions about clinical findings, and crash-related variables have been sparsely reported. The current study calculated a nationwide fatality rate for asphyxia in motor vehicle crashes of 1.4%. Seventeen case studies of asphyxia were also reported providing crash-, vehicle-, and occupant-related variables. These included type of accident, crash severity, seat belt use, containment status, extent of occupant compartment intrusion, height, weight, and injury pattern. The data presented can be used to better understand the injury mechanism, identify risk factors, develop possible protective countermeasures, and create situational awareness for emergency responders and investigators.