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Influence of Airbags and Seatbelt Pretensioners on Ais1 Neck Injuries for Belted Occupants in Frontal Impacts
Published November 01, 2000 by The Stapp Association in United States
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AIS1 neck injuries are the most frequent disabling injuries among car occupants in road traffic accidents. Although neck injury is mostly regarded as resulting from rear end collisions, almost one third of all neck injuries occur in frontal impacts. Several studies have shown the effect of airbags on injury and fatality rates. However, studies of the effect of airbags on the risk of injuries to different body regions are rare. Airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may influence especially the risk of neck injuries.
This paper presents influence of airbags and pretensioners on reported neck injury risk in frontal impacts. Cars fitted with airbags in combination with pretensioners and cars without have been analyzed. Since 1992, approximately 150,000 vehicles on the Swedish market have been equipped with crash pulse recorders to measuring frontal impacts. This study includes results from 158 frontal impacts, where the crash pulses have been recorded using crash pulse recorders and where the status of airbag deployments was known. Only reported neck injuries, often denoted as short-term disability to the neck, were considered in this study. Injury risk functions for cars with and without airbags versus change of velocity and mean and peak accelerations were analyzed.
It was found that airbags in combination with seat belt pretensioners reduced the number of AIS1 neck injuries in frontal impacts with 41% +/- 15.2%. In impacts at a change of velocity between 1 and 30 km/h, airbags and pretensioners was found to reduce the neck injury risk with 59% +/- 18.6%.