An important research study below centers on fatal cardiac injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. It's important to note that fractured sternum in a driver can occur even while wearing a seat belt.
AbstractMotor vehicle accidents contribute widely to population morbidity and mortality around the world, and cardiac injuries are a major factor determining outcome. Autopsy reports from 380 motor vehicle occupants who died in motor vehicle crashes in Adelaide, Australia, and Hamburg, Germany, over a 6-year period were reviewed, analysing the presence and type of cardiac injuries and their correlation with factors such as crash type, presence of seatbelt/airbag and vehicle speed as well as with the presence of other injuries which might predict the presence of cardiac injuries in a clinical setting. 21.1% had cardiac injuries identified macroscopically autopsy or histology. Cardiac injuries were the only cause of death or contributed to a fatal outcome in 76% of these cases. Sternal fractures and left-sided serial rib fractures were predictive of cardiac injury.