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The Effect of Rear-Seat Overloading in a Car Crash: Pathological and Kinematics Evidences

Luchini, Duccio MD*; Sammicheli, Michele MD*; Cortucci, Cristiano MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 177–180
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182518cdb
Case Reports

Seat belts have been shown to decrease the incidence of lethal lesions to the head, chest, and abdomen. Since the introduction of seat belts, it is reported that the incidence of traumatic lesions in these body parts is reduced. In the meantime, the characteristic lesions to the chest and abdomen caused by the use of seat belts are described (J Trauma. 2007;62(6):1473–1480).

Reported is a peculiar case of an oblique front-to-rear car collision, in which overloading of the rear seat with packages pushed forward the passenger front seat in an abnormal way, causing fatal thoracic and abdominal lesions.

The authors underline that the seat belt protection device is defeated if front seats are damaged by heavy unanchored bags on the rear seat or on the rear parcel shelf of a motor vehicle.

From the *Department of Legal Medicine, University of Siena, Siena; and †Department of Juridical and Legal Sciences, University of Camerino (MC), Camerino, Italy.

Manuscript received March 7, 2008; accepted July 19, 2008.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Duccio Luchini, MD, Department of Legal Medicine, University of Siena, Policlinico “Santa Maria alle Scotte,” 53100 Siena, Italy. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.