Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in rear-end collisions?

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Abstract

Introduction: Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in the struck car in a rear-end collision? The rear part of a modern car has collision zones that are rendered nonoperational when the car is equipped with a tow-bar. Past crash tests have shown that a car's acceleration was higher in a car equipped with a tow-bar and also that a dummy placed in a car with a tow-bar had higher peak acceleration in the lower neck area. Method: This study aimed to investigate the association between the risk of neck injury in drivers and passengers, and the presence of a registered tow-bar on the struck car in a rear-end collision. We performed a merger of police reports, the National Hospital Discharge Registry, and the National Registry of Motor Vehicles in Denmark. We identified 9,370 drivers and passengers of whom 1,519 were diagnosed with neck injury within the first year after the collision. We found a statistically insignificant 5% decrease in the risk of neck injury in the occupants of the struck car when a tow-bar was fitted compared to when it was not fitted (hazard ratio = 0.95; 95% confidence level = 0.85–1.05; p = 0.32). The result was controlled for gender, age, and the seat of the occupant. Several other collision and car characteristics and demographic information on the drivers and passengers were evaluated as confounders but were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study may serve as valuable input for a meta-analysis on the effect of a tow-bar because negative results are necessary in order to avoid publication bias. © 2018 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Volume65
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
ISSN0022-4375
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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Railroad cars
Law enforcement
Seats
Hazards

Keywords

  • Car collision zones
  • Neck injury
  • Rear-end collision
  • Registry study
  • Tow-bar

Cite this

@article{47ecf567ea5d4d02a84710c024571cbd,
title = "Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in rear-end collisions?",
abstract = "Introduction: Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in the struck car in a rear-end collision? The rear part of a modern car has collision zones that are rendered nonoperational when the car is equipped with a tow-bar. Past crash tests have shown that a car's acceleration was higher in a car equipped with a tow-bar and also that a dummy placed in a car with a tow-bar had higher peak acceleration in the lower neck area. Method: This study aimed to investigate the association between the risk of neck injury in drivers and passengers, and the presence of a registered tow-bar on the struck car in a rear-end collision. We performed a merger of police reports, the National Hospital Discharge Registry, and the National Registry of Motor Vehicles in Denmark. We identified 9,370 drivers and passengers of whom 1,519 were diagnosed with neck injury within the first year after the collision. We found a statistically insignificant 5{\%} decrease in the risk of neck injury in the occupants of the struck car when a tow-bar was fitted compared to when it was not fitted (hazard ratio = 0.95; 95{\%} confidence level = 0.85–1.05; p = 0.32). The result was controlled for gender, age, and the seat of the occupant. Several other collision and car characteristics and demographic information on the drivers and passengers were evaluated as confounders but were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study may serve as valuable input for a meta-analysis on the effect of a tow-bar because negative results are necessary in order to avoid publication bias. {\circledC} 2018 The Authors",
keywords = "Car collision zones, Neck injury, Rear-end collision, Registry study, Tow-bar, Car collision zones, Neck injury, Rear-end collision, Registry study, Tow-bar",
author = "Olesen, {Anne Vingaard} and Rune Elvik and Andersen, {Camilla Sloth} and Lahrmann, {Harry Spaab{\ae}k}",
year = "2018",
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Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in rear-end collisions? / Olesen, Anne Vingaard; Elvik, Rune; Andersen, Camilla Sloth; Lahrmann, Harry Spaabæk.

In: Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 65, 01.06.2018, p. 59-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in rear-end collisions?

AU - Olesen, Anne Vingaard

AU - Elvik, Rune

AU - Andersen, Camilla Sloth

AU - Lahrmann, Harry Spaabæk

PY - 2018/6/1

Y1 - 2018/6/1

N2 - Introduction: Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in the struck car in a rear-end collision? The rear part of a modern car has collision zones that are rendered nonoperational when the car is equipped with a tow-bar. Past crash tests have shown that a car's acceleration was higher in a car equipped with a tow-bar and also that a dummy placed in a car with a tow-bar had higher peak acceleration in the lower neck area. Method: This study aimed to investigate the association between the risk of neck injury in drivers and passengers, and the presence of a registered tow-bar on the struck car in a rear-end collision. We performed a merger of police reports, the National Hospital Discharge Registry, and the National Registry of Motor Vehicles in Denmark. We identified 9,370 drivers and passengers of whom 1,519 were diagnosed with neck injury within the first year after the collision. We found a statistically insignificant 5% decrease in the risk of neck injury in the occupants of the struck car when a tow-bar was fitted compared to when it was not fitted (hazard ratio = 0.95; 95% confidence level = 0.85–1.05; p = 0.32). The result was controlled for gender, age, and the seat of the occupant. Several other collision and car characteristics and demographic information on the drivers and passengers were evaluated as confounders but were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study may serve as valuable input for a meta-analysis on the effect of a tow-bar because negative results are necessary in order to avoid publication bias. © 2018 The Authors

AB - Introduction: Does a tow-bar increase the risk of neck injury in the struck car in a rear-end collision? The rear part of a modern car has collision zones that are rendered nonoperational when the car is equipped with a tow-bar. Past crash tests have shown that a car's acceleration was higher in a car equipped with a tow-bar and also that a dummy placed in a car with a tow-bar had higher peak acceleration in the lower neck area. Method: This study aimed to investigate the association between the risk of neck injury in drivers and passengers, and the presence of a registered tow-bar on the struck car in a rear-end collision. We performed a merger of police reports, the National Hospital Discharge Registry, and the National Registry of Motor Vehicles in Denmark. We identified 9,370 drivers and passengers of whom 1,519 were diagnosed with neck injury within the first year after the collision. We found a statistically insignificant 5% decrease in the risk of neck injury in the occupants of the struck car when a tow-bar was fitted compared to when it was not fitted (hazard ratio = 0.95; 95% confidence level = 0.85–1.05; p = 0.32). The result was controlled for gender, age, and the seat of the occupant. Several other collision and car characteristics and demographic information on the drivers and passengers were evaluated as confounders but were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study may serve as valuable input for a meta-analysis on the effect of a tow-bar because negative results are necessary in order to avoid publication bias. © 2018 The Authors

KW - Car collision zones

KW - Neck injury

KW - Rear-end collision

KW - Registry study

KW - Tow-bar

KW - Car collision zones

KW - Neck injury

KW - Rear-end collision

KW - Registry study

KW - Tow-bar

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U2 - 10.1016/j.jsr.2018.02.007

DO - 10.1016/j.jsr.2018.02.007

M3 - Journal article

VL - 65

SP - 59

EP - 65

JO - Journal of Safety Research

JF - Journal of Safety Research

SN - 0022-4375

ER -