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Upper Interior Head Impact Protection of Occupants in Real-World Crashes
Published May 13, 1996 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
The safety problem associated with head injuries due to impacts against upper interior components continues to be of concern to automobile manufacturers and others. Even with increased safety belt usage, and when the entire fleet would consist of airbag-equipped vehicles only, the magnitude of fatalities and serous injuries that are likely to continue to occur would be significant. Based on 1988-1993 National Accident Sampling System (NASS) data, it is estimated that about 2200 fatalities and over 3600 serious injuries would likely occur due to head impacts against upper interior components in light vehicles, annually.
NHTSA conducted research to develop countermeasures to reduce the head injury potential in upper interior head impacts in vehicles. A test device and procedure were developed. Using these along with the standard head injury criterion (HIC), the safety performance of baseline and modified vehicles were determined by conducting several tests.
Based on these test results, it is estimated that over 1000 fatalities will be prevented, and up to about 800 serious head injuries will be reduced by the test procedures developed and implemented into an amendment to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 201.