A review of fatal road accidents in Oxfordshire over a 2-year period

Injury. 1989 Mar;20(2):65-8. doi: 10.1016/0020-1383(89)90141-1.


The records of 131 road accident fatalities which occurred in Oxfordshire over a 2-year period were reviewed. Aspects of the accident circumstances, the injuries incurred and the cause of death were examined. The majority of fatal accidents occurred during daylight hours and in dry weather. Deaths were mainly due to cerebral injury (34.4 per cent) or uncontrollable (mainly thoracic) haemorrhage (25.2 per cent), or a combination of both (8.4 per cent). A number of deaths occurred in hospital from complications rather than from the injury itself. In addition to this, there were four deaths from natural causes. Where death occurred at the scene of the accident, blood alcohol levels were determined. Almost 50 per cent of the drivers for whom a level was obtained had measurable alcohol in their bloodstream, and 28 per cent of such drivers were over the legal limit. Three cases who reached hospital alive were, on review, assessed to have potentially survivable injuries, and a further two patients died in the post-accident period of potentially survivable complications.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Injuries / mortality
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies