Epidemiology and Injury Biomechanics of Motor Vehicle Related Trauma to the Human Spine
Engineering efforts directed at better occupant safety require a thorough understanding of available epidemiologic data. Epidemiologic studies using clinical as well as accident information facilitates the prioritization of biomechanics research so that controlled laboratory experimentation and/or analytical models can be advanced. This information has also value in dictating levels and types of injury that are critical to the development of anthropomorphic test devices used in crash environments. In this paper, motor vehicle accident related (excluding pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) epidemiologic data were obtained from clinical and computerized accident (National Accident Sampling System-NASS) files. Clinical data were gathered from patients admitted to the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, and fatalities occurring in Milwaukee County, State of Wisconsin. NASS database with specific focus on spinal injuries of motor vehicle occupants was also used.