Automotive Improvements that have lessened MVCs

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Despite the high number of MVCs occurring regularly daily on our roads, the auto industry has made remarkable improvements to lessen fatalities and decrease the risk and extent of some of the injuries seen. a. Seat belts – Seat belts stretch giving a “longer ride down” thus easing impact with the inside compartment of the vehicle – They prevent ejection from the vehicle which are almost always associated with fatal injuries – Cause predictable injuries such as lacerations or injury to liver, spleen, omentum, mesentery, fractured spine, clavicle, sternum and rib cage b. Air bags – Provide gradual deceleration of the head and neck preventing whiplash motion of frontal impact – Cause predictable injuries due to force of ejection of deployment and can dislocate, fracture, and amputate thumbs. Side air bags can cause rib fractures. c. Auto safety glass – Windshield made like a sandwich which shatters but basically “hangs” together instead of separating into distinct shards as do side windows – Lacerations tend to be less serious d. Dashboards – These are contoured and impact with the lower extremities may have less of a deleterious effects – Steering columns on some vehicles collapse under pressure thereby sparing the driver serious injury. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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