Massive Lesions Owing to Motorcyclist Impact Against Guardrail Posts: Analysis of Two Cases and Safety Considerations

Authors

  • Francesco Brandimarti M.D.,

    1. Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.
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  • Ilenia Giacomini M.D.,

    1. Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.
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  • Barbara Fraternale M.D.,

    1. Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.
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  • Raffaele Giorgetti M.D.,

    1. Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.
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  • Adriano Tagliabracci M.D.

    1. Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.
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  • Presented at the 39th SIMLA National Congress, September 29–October 2, 2009, in Ancona, Italy.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Francesco Brandimarti, M.D.
Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze
Università Politecnica delle Marche
via Conca 71, 60126 Torrette di Ancona (AN)
Italy
E-mail: francesco.brandimarti@gmail.com

Abstract

Abstract:  Two motorcycle riders lost control of their vehicle, fell, and hit a guardrail, which acted as a blade and led to a rapid, fatal outcome. In one case, the high velocity of the body at the time of the impact resulted in complete detachment of the trunk. Reconstruction of the accident dynamics enabled the guardrail post to be identified as the means of injury in both cases. The two accidents occurred over a short period of time, highlighting a dangerous phenomenon that in less severe cases is presumably associated with different degrees of survivor disability. The accidents deserve mention, because a different design of the impact surface of the guardrail post might have prevented the lethal outcome. There is an urgent need for legislators to pass regulations that modify crash barrier homologation criteria, which have been devised primarily for the safety of car passengers but fail to protect motorcyclists.

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