Forensic Medical Investigation of Motor Vehicle Incidents  book cover
1st Edition

Forensic Medical Investigation of Motor Vehicle Incidents

ISBN 9780849378591
Published November 27, 2006 by CRC Press
240 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Forensic Medical Investigation of Motor Vehicle Incidents provides an in-depth study of the circumstances underlying motor vehicle incidents and allows for a reasoned analysis of a crash victim's injuries. It also gives law enforcement the tools to communicate relevant information to the forensic pathologists and trains pathologists to infer crucial clues to the scenario that they may then relate to the investigating officers.

Beginning with the design of the vehicle, its safety features and other mechanisms for avoiding collision or injury, the book then addresses the myriad behavioral and mitigating medical factors that impair human abilities and cause vehicular incidents. It details the correct forensic classification of injuries and reviews the direction, force, and nature of injury. Organized into incidents involving car-on-car and car-on-pedestrian, as well as bicycles, motorcycles, and heavy machinery, the book delves into extensive accounts of the various insults sustained by the body in the event of impact. This information gives trauma care practitioners the ability to quickly determine the nature and extent of the injuries sustained and allows them to provide faster more effective care to the survivors of the crash. To aid the pathologist in fulfilling the important task of finding a reasonable cause of death, the second portion of the book focuses on the postmortem examination, toxicology, and documented cause of death.

Written for all members of the investigative team, including forensic pathologists, police officers, safety engineers, and medical personnel in trauma care, Forensic Investigations of Motor Vehicle Incidents is a preliminary resource that facilitates communication among all those concerned with the causes and effects of vehicular incidents.

Table of Contents

Motor Vehicle Design and Causation of Injuries
Seat Belts
Antilock Braking Systems
Electronic Stability Control
Event Data Recorders
Design Features to Protect Pedestrians
Improvements in Lighting
Enhanced Rear Lighting
Adaptive Head Lighting
Intelligent Vehicle Systems

Behavioral Factors in Motor Vehicle Incidents
Driving at an Excessive Speed
Speed Cameras
Driving While Intoxicated With Alcohol
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Driving While Fatigued or Drowsy
Inattention and Distraction From the Task of Driving
Looked-but-Failed-to-See Errors
Behavior Associated With a History of Traffic Law Violations
Running Red Lights
Ignoring Traffic Signals
Aggressive Driving Behavior
Noncompliance With Seat Belts
Age-related Issues
Inexperienced Drivers
Driver Decision Errors

Medical Factors in Motor Vehicle Incidents
Medical Conditions
Cardiovascular System
Common Cardiac Conditions
Ischemic Heart Disease (Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis)
Hypertensive Heart Disease
Other Cardiovascular Conditions
Aortic Dissection
Abnormal Cardiac Valves
Coronary Artery Abnormalities
Nervous System
Intracranial Haemorrhage
Investigations in Intracranial Haemorrhage
Driving After Stroke
Old Age and Dementia
Head Injury
Psychiatric Disorders
Endocrine System (Diabetes Mellitus)
Visual Problems
Sleep Apnea

Forensic Classification of Injuries
Definition and Overview
Direction of Impact
Surface and Nature of the Object
Shape of the Object
Abrasions from Indirect Forces
Direction and Nature of the Impact
Point of Impact
Surface and Shape of the Object
Degree of Bruising
Petechial Haemorrhages
Incised and Stab Injuries
Fractures and Ligament Injuries
Ligament Injury
Demonstration of Fractures and Ligament Injuries

Injuries Sustained by Motor Vehicle Occupants
Frontal Collision
Oblique Frontal Collisions
Unrestrained Occupant
Head Injury
Secondary Brain Injury
Deceleration Injury
Restrained Occupant
Blunt Chest Trauma
Blunt Abdominal Trauma
Pelvic and Lower Limb Trauma
Upper Arm
Spinal Injury
Side Impact Collisions
Injuries in Side Impact Collisions
Rear Impact Collisions
Injuries from Rear Impact
Rollover Collisions
Injuries in Rollover Incidents
Injuries Associated With Seat belts
Injuries Associated with Front Airbag Deployment
Side Airbags
Vehicle Mismatch
Pregnant Occupants
Injury Differences Between Drivers and Passengers
Injury Severity Scores
Vehicle Fires

Injuries Sustained by Pedestrians
Pedestrian Injuries
Upright Pedestrians Vs. Conventional Cars
Bumper Injuries
Joint injuries to the Lower Limb
Injuries to the Head
Injuries to the Neck
Injuries to the Upper Limbs
Pedestrians Vs. Larger, Flat-Fronted Vehicles (Vehicle-Pedestrian Mismatch)
Head Injuries
Abdominal Injuries
Chest injuries
Pelvic Injury
Lower Limb Injuries
Upper Limbs
Runover Injuries
Pediatric Pedestrian Injuries
Motor Vehicle Speed in Pedestrian Incidents

Injuries Associated with Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Heavy Vehicle Incidents
Human Factors
Injuries to Riders in Motorcycle Incidents
Rider or Pillion Passenger?
Injury Prevention Through Helmet Use
Bicycle Incidents
Bicycle-Pedestrian Incidents
Heavy Vehicle Incidents
Overview of Truck Collisions
Vehicle Factors
Injuries in Truck Collisions
Overview of Bus Collisions
Injuries in Bus/Coach Collisions

Postmortem Examination
The Postmortem Examination
Purpose of the Postmortem Examination
Ancillary Investigations
Radiographic Imaging
Forensic Photography
Additional Expert Opinions
External Examination
Internal Examination
Cardiovascular System
Natural Disease
Central Nervous System
Natural Disease
Primary Brain Injury
Secondary Brain Injury
Musculoskeletal System
Respiratory System
Gastrointestinal System
Genitourinary System
Reticuloendothelial System
Death from Burns
Other Investigations
Cause of Death
Summary of Anatomic Findings

Ethanol (Alcohol)
Actions of Ethanol
Social Factors
Methods of Analysis
The Alcohol Breath Test
Alcohol Interlock Devices
Interpretation of Toxicology Results
Forensic Calculations
Non-Alcohol Drugs and Driving
Effects of THC
Central Nervous Stimulants
Actions of Central Nervous System Stimulants

Cause of Death
Deaths at the Collision Scene
Early Deaths from Motor Vehicle Incidents
Delayed Deaths from Motor Vehicle Incidents
Trauma Pathophysiology
Damage Control Surgery
Organ Failure
Fat Embolism
Pulmonary Thromboembolism
Iatrogenic injury

Appendix 1: Scene Examination
Environmental Factors
Weather Conditions
Road Factors
Surface Water
Evidence from the Roadway
Tyre Marks
Collision Mark
Acceleration Mark
Flat Tyre Mark
Rolling Print
Collision Debris
Trace Evidence
Gouge and Scrape Marks
Fluid Runoff
Place of Rest
Pedestrian Incidents - Evidence from the Roadway

Appendix 2: Motor Vehicle Examination
Contact Damage
Paint Transfer
Induced Damage
Windshield Damage
Tire Damage
Headlights and Tail Lights
Pedestrian Incidents-Evidence From the Motor Vehicle
Restraint System Examination
Airbag Examination
Mechanical Issues

Appendix 3: Collision Reconstruction
Precollision Evaluation
Collision Evaluation
Postcollision Evaluation
Collision Reconstruction
Damage Analysis
Conservation of Momentum
Conservation of Energy Analysis
Pedestrian Collisions

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