Article Review: The Influence of Vehicle Damage on Injury Severity of Drivers in Head-on Motor Vehicle Crashes
The article under review examines the relationship between vehicle damage and injuries sustained after a motor vehicle accident. It particularly assesses the injuries sustained by drivers involved in head-on collisions and compares them with the type of damage done to the vehicle to determine if there are any underlying correlations.
Conroy, C., Tominaga, G.T., Erwin, S., Pacyna, S., Velky, T., Kennedy, F., Sise, M., & Coimbra, R. (2008). The influence of vehicle damage on injury severity of drivers in head-on motor vehicle crashes. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40(8), 1589–1594.
Kind of Research
This is an experimental study where the authors set out to determine whether there were any correlations between two sets of variables. They started by postulating that there could be correlations which require investigation, in essence hypothesizing that an experiment could uncover these correlations if indeed they existed.
The central purpose of the research was to determine if injuries sustained by people after head-on collisions are, in any way, related to the extent and type of vehicle damage. If there turns out to be a relationship, then the findings would undoubtedly prove indispensible for vehicle manufacturers aiming to reduce incidences of human fatalities and casualties.
Being an entirely experimental study, this research took on a quantitative design. All the data were subjected to statistical analyses after which the results were interpreted based on established parameters.
The researchers relied exclusively on the Crash Injury Research (CIREN) database for their data. Only drivers who were protected by safety belts and whose cars had airbags were included. A total of 194 drivers were used, out which 168 were male and the remaining 26 were female. All these drivers were at least16 years old. Other details included in the analysis were body mass indices (BMI) and the extent of injuries sustained. For the latter, the categories were all based on the maximum abbreviated injury scale (MAIS).
The authors expressly state that they relied solely on the proprietary statistical analysis software SAS to extract data from the CIREN database. They also used the same software for the statistical data analysis. Chi square (Fisher Exact) statistics and odds ratio with confidence levels of 95% were used to assess statistical differences between the two broad categories of variables under experimentation. Finally, logistic regression models were used to determine independent factors for injury.
The main variables of the study were the types of vehicle damage and injuries sustained by the occupants. In this structure, the types of vehicle damage were the independent variables against which the injuries sustained were being examined as the dependent variables.X.
For this study, no specific standardized research instruments were listed. Only statistical software and models were used for data extraction and analysis.
The samples used were independent; all the variables in their different categories (occupants and vehicle damages) had individual values non-related with the next.
The samples were obtained through a structured sampling technique; the authors modified the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) protocol for the process before getting data from the CIREN database.
Logistic regression models were used for the particular study. The Hosmer-Lemeshow Goodness-of-Fit (Chi square) test was used to determine the logistic regression model’s fit. Odds ratios were then used to determine the significance of predictive factors as obtained from the regression model.
Results or Findings
The study found a significant relationship between the type of vehicle damage and the injuries sustained by the occupants. More specifically, the occupants sustained significantly more severe injuries form narrow-impact collisions than the wider ones.
The researchers conclude that the findings indicate a significant correlation between the extent and type of vehicle damage and the injuries sustained by the occupants. As such, these findings point to a need for critical analysis of vehicle damage to determine expected occupant injury upon collision in case other factors may be suspected to be causative factors. Similarly, vehicle manufacturers can use these findings to remodel their cars to minimize occupant causalities.
The study relied heavily on a preset method of data extraction from an already established database. This means that the research process eliminated the crucial statistical randomness during sample selection. Nevertheless, the correlation analysis that established critical links between vehicle damage and occupant injury was based on sound statistical processes, which then means that the results obtained are both reliable and valid.