The basic objectives of the paper are to trace the history of motor vehicle accident studies, assess the present state-of-the-art, and discuss the problems that exist. The emphasis is on the method of collection and techniques for analysis of accident and resultant injury data. The studies referenced deal with mass statistics, the in-depth clinical analysis of selected accidents or accident factors, or the application of a combination of both.
These studies are directed toward: epidemiology and causes of accidents, injury patterns attributable to given components of the interior (or exterior), and component failures contributing to the accident or injuries.
Most of the referenced studies were chosen on the basis of their historical significance, importance to the problem, and relationship to the basic objectives.
The several thousand unheralded and generally unpublished accident studies performed by operational agencies within federal, state, and local governments must be acknowledged. These studies, born out of urgent necessity, were and are continuing to be conducted in an effort to find solutions to the growing problem. Such studies call for remedial measures to problems concerning current specific operational responsibilities.