Rural motor vehicle crash mortality: the role of crash severity and medical resources

Accid Anal Prev. 1992 Dec;24(6):631-42. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(92)90015-b.


We did a retrospective case control study to examine the relationship between the risk of dying for Michigan motor vehicle crash (MVC) drivers and the type of county (rural/nonrural) of crash occurrence, while adjusting for crash characteristics, age, sex, and the medical resources in the county of crash occurrence. The 1987 Michigan Accident Census was used to obtain data regarding all MVC driver nonsurvivors (733) and a random sample of all surviving drivers (2,483). County of crash occurrence was defined as rural or nonrural. The crash characteristics analyzed were vehicle deformity, seat belt use, and drivability of the vehicle from the scene. Age and sex of the driver were also analyzed. Medical resource characteristics for the county of crash occurrence were measured as the number of resources per square mile for each of the following: ambulances, emergency medical technicians (EMT), acute care hospital beds, and operating rooms, surgeons and emergency physicians. Also considered were the number and level of emergency rooms in the county of crash occurrence along with the maximum level of prehospital care available (basic life support versus advanced life support) in a county. Before adjusting, the relative risk (RR) for rural MVC drivers dying, compared to their nonrural counterparts, was 1.96. Adjustment for crash characteristics, age, and sex (using logistic regression) decreased the RR to 1.51. An attempt to add medical resource variables to the model resulted in high correlation with the rural/nonrural variable, as well as with each other. This multi-collinearity prevented us from providing a simple explanation of the role of medical resource variables as predictors of survival.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Health Resources*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology