Skip to main content

Feet rolled over by cars: radiological and histological considerations from experiments


This study investigates the question of whether bone structures are injured when a vehicle rolls over a foot. A total of 15 detached feet from deceased persons who had donated their bodies to research were rolled over using a VW Passat station wagon. The feet were enclosed in various types of shoes. The front left tire of the vehicle, inflated to 1.8 bar and driven at walking speed, ran over the feet at a right angle to the long axis. The feet were dissected, and histological and radiological examinations were carried out. The only macroscopically well-defined abrasions of the epidermis were on the back of the foot in the area of contact with the tire and only where the foot had not been covered by a shoe. These abrasions were also well presented histologically. No injuries to the bone structures of the feet, in the form of incomplete fractures, corticalis interruptions or spongiosa compressions were ascertained, either radiologically or microradiologically.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  1. 1.

    Al-Qattan MM (2000) Car-tire friction injuries of the foot in children. Burns 26:399–408

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Castro WHM, Meyer SJ, Becke MER, Netwig CG, Hein MF, Ercan BI, Thomann S, Wessels U, Du Chesne AE (2001) No stress—no whiplash? Prevalence of “whiplash” symptoms following exposure to a placebo rear-end collision. Int J Legal Med 114:316–322

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Du Chesne A, Unnewehr M, Schmidt PF, Sotonyi P, Brinckmann B, Piffko J, Fischer G, Bajanowski T (2003) Deformation characteristics of the human mandible in low impact experiments. Int J Legal Med 117:257–262

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Unnewehr M, Homann C, Schmidt PF, Sotony P, Fischer G, Brinckmann B, Bajanowski T, Du Chesne A (2003) Fracture properties of the human mandible. Int J Legal Med 117:326–330

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Yoganandan N, Pintar F, Seipel R (2000) Experimental production of extra- and intra-articular fractures of the os calcis. J Biomech 33:745–749

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Richter M, Wippermann B, Thermann H, Schroeder G, Otte D, Troeger HD, Krettek C (2002) Plantar impact causing midfoot fractures result in higher forces in Chopart’s joint than in the ankle joint. J Orthop Res 20:222–232

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Rich J, Dean DE, Powers RH (2005) Forensic medicine of the lower extremity. Humana Press, New Jersey

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. Falk.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Falk, J., Michael, J., Eysel, P. et al. Feet rolled over by cars: radiological and histological considerations from experiments. Int J Legal Med 122, 97–100 (2008).

Download citation


  • Injury through rolling over
  • Foot
  • Bone injury
  • Lower extremity
  • Traffic medicine