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Evaluation of forensic autopsies performed on fatal traffic accidents in İzmir

Ferhat Turgut Tuncez, Umut Erdar Bilgin, Erkan Saruhan, Hatice Sezin Yilmazer, Mehmet Tokdemir.

The frequency of fatal traffic accidents in our country is still one of the important social problems. Identifying the problems is the first step of the solution phase. Therefore, in our study; demographic data about deaths due to traffic accidents, the types of injuries that caused death, and effects of alcohol and/or narcotic substances on the accident were evaluated. In İzmir province, in a three-year period between January 2015 and January 2018, the cases that were in The Council of Forensic Medicine Izmir Group Presidency UYAP (National Judiciary Informatics System) system archive, sent by the prosecutor for autopsy due to a traffic accident were analyzed and evaluated retrospectively. And autopsies of the cases were performed in The Council of Forensic Medicine Izmir Group Presidency Morgue Specialization Department. Information about the cases such as age, gender, event date (season/day), event time (hours), whether there is an in-vehicle/non-vehicle traffic accident, whether the case is a driver/passenger, crime scene (location), whether the case has an alcohol/narcotic substance effect, whether there is a history of hospital treatment, and the exact cause of death were included in the study. The data obtained were analyzed with the SPSS 18.0 statistical program. The number of deaths due to traffic accidents at Izmir Forensic Medicine Institute between 2015 and 2018 was 1044, and the majority of them were male (81.7%, n=853) and the average age was 44.7±20.9. Traffic accidents in our study occur more frequently on intercity roads (52.9% n=552), most frequently between 19:00-00:00 (25.6%) and in summer (June-July-August: 31.4%). It was observed that more than half of the cases (55.6%) died at the scene (no hospitalization) and alcohol was detected in toxicological examination in 20.9%. In our study, it was determined that deaths mostly occurred as a result of head injuries. The demographic data of the study are generally compatible with the literature. Increasing traffic controls especially in summer, making traffic fines more effective, psychotechnical evaluation for drivers who repeatedly violate traffic rules, presenting visual educational messages to all age groups with appropriate communication tools (media, advertising, school, internet, etc.) are our solution suggestions to reduce the number of deaths due to traffic accidents.

Key words: Traffic accidents, forensic medicine, autopsy

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The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.