Understanding Causes of Death in Road Crash Incidents

Understanding ‘Causes of Death’ in Road Crash Incidents

With the multiplicity of explanations about various road crashes, some people may not be aware that the most critical factor to the seriousness of trauma, is the “kinetic energy dissipation" resulting from whatever speed deceleration commences.

Other information on this website will help to portray this simple fact, through a variety of explanations. Suffice to say that if the Kinetic Energy factor can be reduced, then the amount of dissipation (translating into force) exerted on the human body, is reduced accordingly.

Most importantly however, is that basic physics determine -(unfortunately for vehicle occupants)- that kinetic energy increases (or decreases) exactly in comparison with the square of the speed.
Refer also: "acceleration versus speed" -explaining engine power restriction/s, capabilities...

With the improved safety features of the modern motor car, this means that an impact with a solid object, at 90km/h, can in many instances be survived by a healthy and strong individual - though some injury would be very likely to occur.
When the impact speed is increased to only 115km/h however, the resulting additional energy dissipation - exerted on the human body - becomes much more serious [not that 95km/h is much fun either!]

Any impact at 130km/h, will almost certainly be fatal!
Refer also: "Princess Diana" .

Reduce the inherent impact speeds below 110km/h, and likewise reduce fatalities.

Drunk driving
The actual cause of death in a "drink-drive" crash is not alcohol poisoning - it is trauma as a result of kinetic energy dissipating into the human body - i.e. the same as with many other crash types, except drowning/fire.  In much of the expressive discussion concerning drink driving, the above is a point that can seem to be forgotten, especially in the context of innovative safety remedies such as widely available top speed limiter functions.
This could not be illustrated more obviously than by reviewing the tragedy of the Raymond Hansen crash of 2005, Taranaki NZ.  Three innocent people died in that crash, but the actual speed of [at fault party] Mr Hansen's vehicle, may have been only 110km/h, when he lost control on approach to the bridge.  What is important from the 'top-speed regulation aspect' is that only 30 minutes earlier he had been driving his EFI vehicle at speeds as great as 180km/h, evading pursuing police in the process!  Researchers of this incredibly tragic [or should that be "incredibly avoidable"] incident will find that the police then tracked Mr Hansen's vehicle to a local Pub - where the lay in waiting, for him to emerge and drive (again). However, he somehow slipped the corden, and a short time later caused the triple fatality at the bridge.
< Coroner_rules_on-needless-triple_fatality... >
Though 'blood alcohol' levels played a major part in the cause of this crash, it should not be forgotten that prior to the botched apprehension outside of the Pub, his vehicle had been traveling at totally excessive speeds - evading police.  Therefore, had the vehicles' ECU embedded speed limiter function been calibrated to activate at (say) 120km/h, then he would probably have been apprehended at the first sighting by police.   Research Refrcn: North & South publication, February 2006>Also;

Example of hypocrisy and ineptitude regarding (actual) causes of injury/deaths

Donald Aubrey
, spokesperson for NZ Federated Farmers, has criticised the NZgovernment [05 May 2011] for raising the age of the (New Zealand) drivers licence. He says it will place greater logistical burdens on rural folk who may rely on 15/16 year-old's to be able to drive themselves - and/or younger siblings - to places and events that parents would otherwise (that is; now) have to provide transport for.

Mr Aubrey has been made aware however, in March 2010, that should he want to lobby government regarding Federated Farmers position on the necessity for the teenage children of farmers to be able to drive, he would have an excellent case/issue by pointing out that the main contributing factor to deaths of teenage motorist is excessive speed.  All of the main points in this web-site were made clearly available to him - with the suggestion he ought use the information to argue an effective and sensible alternative to the "age" aspect. In other words, by his arrogant 'ignoring' of the information and opportunity to place some incontrovertibly 'hazard minimising' initiative - as a serious alternative - to the mere raising of the age by one year . . . he has probably forgone an effectual angle that may have persuaded the government otherwise.

Donald Aubrey NZFDF does make some good points regarding that the (NZ) government should look at extending the Restricted licence period, and at other training options, instead of just lifting the minimum age. He fails to mention the 'Top-Speed restriction' angle though, why?  Is he either a twit or perhaps just hypocritical, when it comes to understanding road safety.     See also: Police Pursuits Policy.
Further content pending . . .


Motor Vehicle Safety is Part of a Four Part Fomula:

1 Structure of the car, - re; tyres, balance, engineering-mechanical and technology!

2 'Roading' engineering.

3 Rules & Road-Code, - guidance for most situations.

4 Driver Education & training, - Registration, Certification - WOF.

All equal a functional - utilitarian - commodity (makes the car useful).

It is a 'formula' that works.  Alter one aspect however, and you get danger!

This is why it is 'dangerous' to alter, or not to use at a sensible speed, the in-built safety feature that can restrain or limit the ability of the vehicle to reach an excessive top speed.

There is no argument against this.


There are two ways to prevent high (excessive) velocity related road crashes and trauma:

1 Somehow condition every drivers mind so that they never drive at a reckless speed.

2 Design and manufacture ALL vehicles so that they can never achieve excessively high speed.

Further reference to (the possible) manufacturing of safer vehicles can be found @ <www.iatss.orjp/pdf/research/32/32-2-11. >. Predictably however, this, otherwise responsible Australian based road/vehicle safety document, neglects to mention that speed limiter functions are already embedded in many late model cars . . .