Relative risk of death from ejection by crash type and crash mode

Accid Anal Prev. 1989 Oct;21(5):459-68. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(89)90006-7.


In virtually all circumstances, the chance of survival in a crash is much greater if the occupant is not ejected from the vehicle. Several estimates of the increased risk of death as a result of ejection (ranging from 2.5 to 25) have been made, but none were specific to the crash mode and most did not control for crash severity. The current study examined the relative risk of fatality due to ejection, by crash type and crash mode, using the Fatal Accident Reporting System data from the years 1982 through 1986. Crash type was defined as either single vehicle or multivehicle and crash mode included rollover, nonrollover, and/or direction of impact. Crash severity was controlled for using a paired comparison method of analysis. Both crash type and crash mode were found to have substantial effects on the relative risk of death due to ejection. In addition, risk differences across seating position exist. Depending on crash mode or type, the risks ranged from about 1.5 to 8. Single-vehicle rollover crashes have the highest increased risk of death due to ejection: about eightfold for the driver and sevenfold for the right front passenger.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cause of Death*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Seat Belts