Presented at the Association for Academic Surgery Conference, February 5, 2009, in Fort Myers, FL.
Plank Fence Penetration into Automobiles—Implications for Prevention Initiatives*
Article first published online: 15 OCT 2010
© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue Supplement s1, pages S105–S108, January 2011
How to Cite
Procter, L., Bernard, A., Ginn, G., Kearney, P. and Pienkowski, D. (2011), Plank Fence Penetration into Automobiles—Implications for Prevention Initiatives. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: S105–S108. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01585.x
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 15 OCT 2010
- Received 7 Sept. 2009; and in revised form 14 Dec. 2009; accepted 24 Dec. 2009.
- forensic science;
- motor vehicle collision;
Abstract: The wooden plank fence presents a deadly but unrecognized hazard to motorists. We hypothesize that fence plank injury is prevalent and results in significant morbidity and mortality. Databases of the University of Kentucky’s Level I Trauma Center and the Fayette County Coroner were retrospectively analyzed over a 12-year period (1995–2006). One hundred and twenty-eight subjects were involved in vehicle contact with wooden plank fences. One hundred and twenty-three subjects were evaluated at the Emergency Department of our trauma center; 35 (27%) had a patient–plank interaction (PPI). Men (30/35) were more frequently involved (86%), and average age was 32.8 years. Thirty-two (91%) were drivers; 14/35 (40%) died from PPI-related injuries. The most common cause of death was blunt head trauma in 13 of these 14 fatally injured subjects (93%). This study provides new data underscoring the frequency, lethality, and economic consequences of this injury mechanism. Further research is needed to quantify the national prevalence of this problem and develop injury-mitigating strategies pertaining to roadway or fence design.