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TitleCardiac Disease and Driver Fatality
AuthorsO'Donovan S, Humphries MA, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW
TypeJournal Article
AbstractTo determine the role of cardiac disease in driver fatalities, a retrospective review of autopsy files at Forensic Science SA in Adelaide, Australia, was undertaken over a 13-year-period January 2005–December 2017 for individuals aged ≥ 40 years who had died while driving a motor vehicle. The incidence of significant coronary artery atherosclerosis (CAA) and cardiomegaly was evaluated with comparisons between drivers and a control group of passengers. Autopsy examinations were performed on 303 drivers and 72 passengers who died of trauma and on 63 drivers who died of a cardiac event while driving. The average age for drivers dying of trauma was 58.5 years (range 40–93 years) with 48 (15.8%) having CAA and 31 (10.2%) having cardiomegaly. This was not statistically different to passengers (aged 63.3 years; range 40–93 years; 20.8% having CAA; 11 (15.2%) cardiomegaly; (p > 0.2). Drivers with significant cardiac disease did not, therefore, have increased rates of death in crashes, although a distinct subgroup of drivers consisted of those who had died from cardiac events and not trauma, while driving. The latter may be increasing in number given the aging population.
Journal TitleForensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
Journal Volume (Issue)
NotesAvailable via publisher

O'Donovan S, Humphries MA, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW (2022). Cardiac Disease and Driver Fatality. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology,