Risk factors for motor vehicle collision-related eye injuries

Academic Article


  • Objective: To evaluate the association between specific occupant, collision, and vehicle characteristics and the risk of motor vehicle collision (MVC)-related eye injury. Methods: The 1988-2001 National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System files were used. The Crashworthiness Data System is a national probability sample of passenger vehicles involved in police-reported tow-away MVCs. The risk of eye injury was calculated according to specific occupant (eg, age, seat belt use) and collision (eg, ΔV [estimated change in velocity] , vehicular intrusion) characteristics. The association between eye injury and these characteristics was calculated using risk ratios and associated 95% confidence intervals. Results: The incidence of eye injuries in MVCs has progressively increased since 1998. Frontal air bag deployment was associated with a statistically significant, 2-fold (risk ratio, 2.13 [95% confidence interval, 1.56-2.91]) increased risk of eye injury, whereas seat belt use was associated with a 2-fold (risk ratio, 2.17 [95% confidence interval, 1.89-2.44]) reduced eye injury risk. In late-model vehicles, frontal air bags are the most common cause of MVC-related eye injury. Older age, female sex, seat position, vehicle weight, and collision severity were also associated with eye injury risk. Conclusions: Seat belt use is the most effective means of occupant protection against MVC-related eye injury. For front-seated occupants in frontal collisions, the adverse effect of frontal air bags on the risk of eye injury should be considered against their protective effect for fatal injury.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McGwin G; Owsley C
  • Start Page

  • 89
  • End Page

  • 95
  • Volume

  • 123
  • Issue

  • 1