Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Mechanical analysis of survival in falls from heights of fifty to one hundred and fifty feet

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • * My interest in the mechanics of injury and safety design dates from experiences in the Royal Air Force during the last war. Observations made at that time, during investigation of air crashes, gave strong indication that many of the traumatic results of aircraft and automobile accidents could be avoided. Structures and objects, by placement and design, created an inevitable expectance of injury in even minor accidents. Occasionally, however, accidents apparently having every fatal characteristic would occur without causing physical injury. Detailed evidence of apparently miraculous survival in the instances of free fall described here, indicates the strength of the body under conditions of extreme force closely paralleling those encountered in many severe automobile and aircraft accidents.

  • This is the latest paper in a series of Injury Classics. Our goal is to reprint one or two such papers in each issue to introduce newcomers to these old, often quoted, and important contributions. As many are difficult to find, it should help all of us to have a copy at hand. Your suggestions about future articles are welcome. Write to the editor with details of your favourite, most quoted paper.

  • This paper first appeared in

    ) and is reproduced with permission. Copyright 1942 by the American Medical Association.

Linked Articles

  • Editorial
    I B Pless