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TitleAn overview of suicides related to motor vehicles
AuthorsO'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW
TypeJournal Article
AbstractAlthough vehicles may be used in a wide variety of suicides, this has not been a focus in the forensic literature. Thus, an analysis of coronial autopsy reports at Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, South Australia over a 16-year period from January 2005 to December 2020 was undertaken to provide an overview of cases in which it was considered that a vehicle had been integral to the successful completion of a suicide. De-identified details were collected from all cases in which a vehicle had facilitated or been used as a method of suicide. A number of different types of vehicle-related suicide methods were identified, including cases where vehicles had been used as secure places for suicide or where the vehicle had been used to cause significant blunt force trauma or to enter a lethal environment such as water. Specific examples were taken from the following categories: (1) inhalation of gas, (2) drug toxicity, (3) hanging or ligature strangulation, (4) self-immolation, (5) drowning, (6) vehicle collision, (7) driving off a cliff, (8) jumping or lying in front of a vehicle and (9) the use of more than one method (i.e. complex). This report is not intended to provide an epidemiological analysis of car-related suicides. Instead, the details of selected cases have been used to illustrate the spectrum of methods that may be used in vehicle-assisted suicides.
Journal TitleMedicine, Science and the Law
Journal Volume (Issue)63(2)
Page Range151-158. doi:10.1177/00258024221122187

O'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ, Byard RW (2022). An overview of suicides related to motor vehicles. Medicine, Science and the Law, 63(2), 151-158. doi:10.1177/00258024221122187.