September 2011

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


The mechanism of injury to the head, neck and spine in motor vehicle rollover crashes is a contentious topic of research. Most studies sponsored by the automotive industry have concluded that the magnitude of vehicle roof deformation (vertical roof crush) resulting from a rollover crash is not causally associated with these types of injuries. A growing body of evidence suggests that there is an association. The results of this study based on data from the National Automotive Sampling System – Crashworthiness Data System (NASS--CDS) lend support to a statistical association between roof crush and injury. The odds of injury (vs. no injury) to the head, neck and spine increased by 44% (95% CI:8--91%) with each 10 cm increase in roof crush. The odds of severe injury to the head, neck and spine (as measured by a Head, Neck and Spine New Injury Severity Score or‘HNS--NISS’) increased by 64% (95% CI: 26--114%) with each 10 cm increase in roof crush. This study utilizes both cross--sectional




School of Medicine



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