Persons injured as a result of hazards involving form specific motor vehicle components: radiators,
Motor vehicle hazards, non-crash related, injury diagnosis, Injury severityRadiators, batteries, power windows, and power roofs
Radiator cap injuriesmotor vehicle engine cooling fluid (coolant) may operate at temperatures as high as 245-265 degrees F. and at 16-17 lbs. of pressure. Under these temperature and pressure conditions, a hasty removal of the standard radiator cap usually results in scalding fluid exploding out of the neck of the radiator, with sometimes severe burn injury to the person opening the radiator. Because incidents of this type are not an uncommon occurrence, over the years NHTSA has received letters from the public and from medical personnel at hospital facilities in support of action to establish standards for safety locks for radiator caps.
Radiator cap injuriesDuring the 12-month study period October 1, 1993 through September 30, 1994, an est.hnated 19,638 persons were injured nationwide as a result of involvement in various ways with motor vehicle radiators. Of these 19,638 injured persons, the majority, approximately 77 percent, were injured as a result of activities associated with the radiator cap. Almost 73 percent of the radiator cap injuries were resulted from removing (or attempting to remove) the cap from the radiator. A surprising 25 percent of the radiator cap injuries were described as due to the radiator cap "exploding", i.e., the cap being ejected or dislodged from the neck of the radiator in some way. These situations involved mostly stationary vehicles, however, in situations in which the vehicle was moving, vehicle movement, coupled with excessive radiator pressure may have been contributors to the radiator cap ejection.
Injuries Associated mth Motor Vehicle Battery ExplosionsDuring the 12-month period October 1993 through September 1994, data from 134 cases of injuries associated with motor vehicle batteries were obtained from NEISS. Based upon these 134 cases, an estimated 7,051 persons were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries resulting from an activity involving motor vehicle batteries nationwide during the 12-month study period. The types of injuries sustained can be described by five general categories: battery explosions, chemical burns and/or contamination resulting from contact with battery acid, muscle strains and/or crush-type injuries associated with lifting or dropping the battery, and electrical shock from contacting battery cables and/or posts.
Injuries Associated mth Motor Vehicle Battery ExplosionsPersons injured as a result of battery explosions, the type of injury of particular interest to NHTSA, comprised the largest of these five general categories. An estimated 2,280 persons (32% of 7,051 motor vehicle battery injuries) were injured as a direct result of a motor vehicle battery explosion. Tables 1 through 5 provide additional details on the persons injured as a result of motor vehicle battery explosion during the
period October 1, 1993- September 30, 1994 by the action which produced the injury, the region of the body most severely injured, the injury diagnosis, the injury severity, and the age of the injured person, respectively. (The percentages may not add to 1009ZiOn every table due to rounding.)
Injuries Associated mth Motor Vehicle Battery ExplosionsThirty-one percent (31%) of the persons injured by battery explosions were charging the battery (702 persons injured), as shown in Table 13. More than one-fourth (26%) of the injuries were associated with an activity involving the battery cables (replacing, securing, or tightening). An almost equal number of persons were injured as a result of "jump starting" the battery (19%) or checkinzadding fluid (19'?40)U. nfortunately, it is not known what activity led to the injury for about 5%of the persons injured.
Injuries Associated with Motor Vehicle Power WindowsDuring the 12-month study period October 1993 through September 1994, data on 10 cases of injuries associated with motor vehicle power windows were obtained from CPSC'S NEISS. Based upon these 10 cases, an estimated 499 persons were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with motor vehicle power windows nationwide during the twelve month study period. Ninety-three percent (465/499) of the injured persons were injured in connection with passenger car power windows. Ninety-one percent (456/499) of those injured were treated and released from the emergency room without hospitalization.
Injuries Associated with Motor Vehicle Power WindowsAs shown in Table 17, 88% of the estimated 499 persons injured were injured as a result of [unintentionally] closing the power window on a finger, wrist, or hand (either one's own or another person's). Another 4% were injured as a result of attempting to work on or repair the window and/or was cut by broken glass. Just under 9?%a0ttributed the cause of the injury to a "faulty" power window.A large proportion were diagnosed as having a fracture (3890) or had a body part considered as crushed (30%).
References. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Division of Hazard and Injury Data Systems: "NEISS - The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. A Description of Its Role in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission," March 1990, pp. 1-10.
2. U.S. ConsumerProductSafety Commission, Division of Hazardand InjuryData Systems: "TheNEISS Sample (Design and Implementation),"March 1986 (Revised February, 1994), pp. 22-23.
3. AnnestJL,MercyJA,GibsonDR,RyanGW. "NationalEstimatesofNonfatalFirearm-Related Injuries. Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg," Journalof the American Medical Association, June 14, 1995, Vol 273, N0.22, pp. 1749-1754.
Additional resources provided by the author
- Injuries Associated with Specific Motor Vehicle Hazards: Radiators, Batteries, Power Windows, and Power Roofs
- CHEMICAL INJURIES OF THE EYE
- Orientation to Hazardous Materials for Medical Personnel
- How to Transport Batteries
- Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know
- Lithium-ion battery use
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Radiator and Coolant Reservoir Caps, Venting of Motor Vehicle Coolant Systems
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; Radiator and Coolant Reservoir Caps, Venting of Motor Vehicle Coolant System
- Crash law