The University of Adelaide CENTRE FOR AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY RESEARCH

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TitleObesity and age as factors in leg amputation in fatal motorcycle crashes
AuthorsO'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW
Year2019
TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe autopsy files at Forensic Science South Australia were searched over an 11-year period from January 2008 to December 2018 for all cases of motorcycle fatalities in which there had been lower-limb amputations. Six cases were identified, consisting of five male riders and one female pillion passenger. The age range was 48–67 years (average 59 years), which was significantly older than the control group (40.6 years; p < 0.01). All the decedents were overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) of 28.7–43.5 kg/m2 (average 34.9 kg/m2), which again was significantly greater than the

control group (28.8 kg/m2; p < 0.05). Five of the incidents involved a collision between a motorcycle and a motor vehicle; the remaining case involved a collision with a tree. Five of the amputations were on the right side in the motorcyclevehicle impacts, and they varied in severity from loss of a foot to a hind-quarter amputation. There was a single left lower-leg amputation which occurred during the collision with a tree, which was beside the road on the motorcyclist’s left. This study has shown that motorcyclists at greatest risk of lower limb/pelvis amputations are older than the average rider with higher BMIs. This may be significant information given the increase in both BMI and age in many populations.

Journal TitleMedicine, Science and the Law
Journal Volume (Issue)Online First
NotesAvailable online
https://doi.org/10.1177/0025802419884748

Reference
O'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW (2019) 'Obesity and age as factors in leg amputation in fatal motorcycle crashes', Medicine, Science and the Law, Online First.