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Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Jul;47:140-5. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.10.008. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Crash and burn? Vehicle, collision, and driver factors that influence motor vehicle collision fires.

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  • 1Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky, College of Public Health, 333 Waller Ave., Suite 242, Lexington, KY 40504, USA.


A retrospective population-based case-control study was performed to determine the association between vehicle fires, and vehicle, collision, and driver factors on highways with a posted speed limit of at least 55mph. Data were obtained from the Kentucky Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH) electronic files for 2000-2009 from the Kentucky State Police Records Sections. The results from the final multiple logistic regression show that large trucks were at a higher risk for a collision involving a fire than passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. When controlling for all other variables in the model, vehicles 6 years old and older, driving straight down the highway, and single vehicle collisions were also identified as factors that increase the risk of motor vehicle collision fires on roadways with a posted speed limit of ≥55mph. Of the 2096 vehicles that caught fire, there were 632 (30%) non-fatally injured drivers and 224 (11%) fatally injured drivers. The results of this study have the potential to inform public health messages directed to the transportation industry, particularly semi truck drivers, in regard to fire risk.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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