An Evaluation of the Hazard Created by Natural Death at the Wheel

Susan P. Baker, Werner U. Spitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Assessment of the hazard associated with sudden natural death of drivers suggests that the magnitude of the problem does not warrant costly and restrictive control efforts. Investigation of 591 collisions that caused fatal injuries to drivers or pedestrians revealed that none of them resulted from natural death at the wheel. Natural death of a sober driver apparently does not entail measurable risk of death or severe injury to his passengers or other persons. Collisions caused by these deaths are relatively infrequent, representing less than 6 per 10,000 motor-vehicle collisions. Nonfatal medical impairments still need to be explored more precisely before driver examinations and restrictions can be considered justified and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 20 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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