<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 23, Issue 1, March 2015

Rom J Leg Med23(1)5-8(2015)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

A fatal crash against guardrail. Report of a case and considerations about safety of roadway barriers in Italy

G. Margiotta, G. Calvisi, E. Carnevali, M. Bacci, M. Gabbrielli

Abstract: There are three types of motorcycle accidents: crashes against a fixed non-vehicular object; crashes between motorcycle and another motor vehicle; other harmful action. Crashes against guardrails are included in the first crash category. Guardrails are roadside barriers erected to restrain vehicles whose driver has lost control in order to reduce the severity of collisions with off-road fixed objects. Despite such measures, guardrails may still be inadequate to reduce mortality related to motorcycle crashes. The present authors report a case of a man who died after a collision against a guardrail near an Italian city (L’Aquila). The crash against the pole of the guardrail determined a right angle dent of the upper part of the helmet. This dent led to a fatal fracture of the skull. The authors report this case to underline the necessity to modify crash barrier homologation criteria in Italy, because they may actually fail to protect motorcyclists and be responsible for specific, and sometimes even lethal, lesions.
Keywords: motorcycle accidents, mortality, skull fracture, helmet, roadside guardrails homologation.

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