250126 Identification of Risk Factors for and Outcomes of Motor Vehicle Collision Fires

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Terry L. Bunn, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Medearis A. Robertson, BS , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Svetla Slavova, PhD , Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background/Purpose: From 2000-2010, 191 large truck collision fatalities were recorded in Kentucky. Of those, 23% of the large trucks caught fire. The objective of the study was to conduct a case-control study to determine whether large trucks are at increased risk of catching fire in a motor vehicle collision at posted speed limits of >55 mph compared to passenger vehicles and pickup trucks, and to determine the injury outcomes associated with the vehicle fires.

Methods: Data for the study were obtained from the Kentucky Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH) electronic files for 2000-2009 from the Kentucky State Police Records Sections.

Results/Outcomes: 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, a vehicle 6 years old and older, driving straight down the highway, single vehicle collisions, and slowing or stopping, 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 152 semi trucks that caught fire, there were 31 (20%) non-fatal injuries and 26 (17%) fatal injuries.

Conclusions: The results of this study have the potential to inform public health messages directed to the transportation industry in regard to fire risk, particularly semi truck drivers.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives 1. Identify risk factors for large truck vs. passenger vehicle/ pickup collision fires 2. Assess the injury outcomes associated with large truck, passenger vehicle, and pickup collision fires 3. Describe public health strategies to reduce fires associated with motor vehicle collision fires 4. Formulate public health messages based on the statistical analysis and results of motor vehicle collisions involving fire.

Keywords: Injuries, Occupational Injury and Death

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs in core injury and occupational injury prevention and surveillance.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.