This paper addresses the nature and cause of lower limb injuries received by car occupants in road traffic accidents. Although such injuries in themselves are rarely life threatening they can lead to long term disability and impairment. The UK CCIS database which describes both the injuries to car occupants and the damage to the vehicle was used to determine the relative importance and frequency of these injuries. The contact points within the car were examined together with the effect of intrusion on injury severity.
It was found that a serious injury to the lower limb was often an occupant's most severe injury and so work to mitigate these injuries would have both long term benefits to accident victims as well as reducing the cost to society.
Lower limb injuries are very dependant on the type of impact sustained. With restrained front seat occupants in frontal impacts 68% of skeletal injuries occurred below the knee while in side impacts where the same occupants were seated on the struck-side of the vehicle 51% of skeletal injuries involved the pelvis. In both cases intrusion was found to be a contributory factor.