A survey of 84 victims of maxillofacial injuries sustained in road traffic accidents is presented. The material was based on the files of the Finnish National Board of Traffic Accident Investigation of the Insurance Companies, comprised the years 1972-1983 and covered the whole country. 86% of the victims were occupants of motor cars; only 24% had worn seat belts. Similarly only two of the eight motor-cyclists had worn a helmet. The majority of all victims also had other head injuries but only 24% had brain injuries; over 50% had a chest injury. In 20 cases the facial injury was thought to be the definitive fatal trauma. In the remaining cases the other injuries could have been responsible for the fatal outcome. However, aspiration of blood from the facial wounds, unconciousness and an injured thorax probably all contributed to death which in 87% was immediate. Thirty-six of the 64 victims who had not used a seat-belt or helmet could certainly, or probably, have been saved by either the belt or the helmet. The possibilities of preventing fatal maxillofacial injuries in road traffic are discussed.