Research and practice in a multidimensional world: a commentary on the contribution of the third dimension of the Haddon matrix to injury prevention

  • Bridie Scott-Parker, J Morag MacKay
  • Injury Prevention, February 2015, BMJ
  • DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041568

The contribution of the third dimension of the Haddon matrix to injury prevention

What is it about?

This article summarises some of the literature relating to the introduction of a third dimension, which was added to the Haddon matrix by Runyan.

Why is it important?

The Haddon matrix is a tool that can improve our understanding of what actually happens in a critical incident, and also can guide the development of countermeasures to prevent or minimise the damage from those critical incidents. In the context of a road crash as a critical incident, many factors are influential, increasing or decreasing survivability. These can be classified as pre-crash factors (e.g., pre-crash driver training and education), crash factors (e.g., seatbelts and airbags), and post-crash factors (e.g., response time and the treatment received from emergency personnel, both at the scene, during transport and within the hospital). These factors across the three stages relate to different variables such as the driver, the environment they are in, and other contextual factors. For example, the presence of passengers can exert a positive or negative influence on young drivers.


Dr Bridie Scott-Parker
University of the Sunshine Coast

This third dimension allows an evaluation of a breadth of intervention options, and this article summarises the variety of research in which the three-dimensional Haddon matrix has been applied.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Bridie Scott-Parker