Research Article

Injuries to pedestrians in road traffic accidents.

BMJ 1988; 297 doi: (Published 03 December 1988) Cite this as: BMJ 1988;297:1431
  1. R. M. Atkins,
  2. W. H. Turner,
  3. R. B. Duthie,
  4. B. R. Wilde
  1. Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Headington, Oxford.


    Although there have been many reports on injuries to occupants of cars in road traffic accidents, there have been few prospective studies of injuries to pedestrians in such accidents. For this reason a two year prospective study of pedestrians in road traffic accidents in the Oxford region was carried out. The incidence of death in pedestrians was significantly higher than in car occupants or motorcyclists. The principal determinant of death was the weight of the vehicle concerned. The most common site of injury was the head because of a high incidence of brief concussion, but the most common site of serious injuries was the leg. Injuries to all regions of the body increased with age and with the weight of the vehicle in the collision. Accidents most often concerned young children or the elderly.