Research Papers

Preventing motor vehicle-related fatalities: a collaborative project to enhance coronial data capture and use

Version 1
Date added June 29, 2016
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Category 2016 CARSP XXVI Halifax
Tags Policy and Practice, Session 1B
Author/Auteur Andrew Howard
Stream/Volet Policy and Practice

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)

1B - Howard


Background/Context: Child fatalities due to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are a significant burden in Canada. Data specific to these deaths are often referenced, yet few Canadian jurisdictions systematically collect comprehensive details of all child occupant and pedestrian MV fatalities reducing the effectiveness of informing and setting targets for injury prevention initiatives.

Aims/Objectives: This project had two objectives; 1): To document the details of injuries and specific crash circumstances of all fatally injured child and youth (0-18 years) occupants and pedestrians through review of two provincial coroner case files (2004-2012). 2): To introduce recommendations toward standardized data collection procedures for use by coroners, specific to child and youth occupants and pedestrians involved in fatal MVC to: a) support revision of procedures, processes, and practices to facilitate detailed data capture by coroners; and b) to improve information transfer to inform prevention initiatives.

Methods/Target Group: The target group included internal and external partners involved with fatality data from the coronial system(s).

Results/Activities: Phase 1: Review of death investigation files (n=317) did not allow ascertainment of suitable detail about injuries (56.5%, n=160), restraint status (38.1%, n=121) and crash type (7.3%, n=23). Data obtained in the retrospective review revealed 43% (95%CI: 36.3, 50.0) of cases were side impact collisions, and 40.0% (95%CI: 33.0, 48.0) of the fatalities were reported improperly or unrestrained. Phase 2: A standardized form was developed and provided to each provincial coroner service to facilitate consistent and detailed data collection. Prospective data collection reduced missing data to 0%.

Discussion/Deliverables: Review of data obtained from child and youth fatalities demonstrated the information about MVC circumstances and injury details were not present in the investigation files. Stakeholder involvement played a pivotal role in piloting a standardized form to attain data that are imperative to the development of effective injury prevention products, policies and practices.

Andrew Howard