Motor Vehicle Collisions and Their Demographics: A 5-Year Retrospective Study of the Hamilton-Wentworth Niagara Region

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This retrospective study examined population demographics associated with motor vehicle collision (MVC) fatalities over a 5-year period in the Hamilton-Wentworth Niagara region. Variables were drawn from the five factors proposed by Fierro ( 1) for investigating deaths caused by transportation: human, chemical, environmental, vehicular, and highway. Factors analyzed included age, gender, position to the vehicle, site(s) of injury, toxicology, environmental contributors, and vehicular findings. From 1999 to 2004, there were 321 MVC fatalities that primarily involved males 20 to 29 years of age and commonly drivers or pedestrians. Cars and trucks were the most frequent vehicles. Fatalities occurred most often on local and regional roads on Fridays and Sundays between 6 pm and 6 am. Mechanical failure and weather conditions were not significant contributors. Toxicological analyses (275/321) were performed on the majority of the study population. Ethanol was present in isolation and with other substances, especially cannabis, mostly in male drivers 20–59 years of age.

Keywords: forensic science; motor vehicle collision; toxicology; transportation pathology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 2: Gordon V. Torrance Regional Forensic Pathology Unit, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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