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Injuries Sustained By Drives in Airbag Crashes
Published May 13, 1996 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
The William Lehman Injury Research Center has conducted multidisciplinary investigations of fifty crashes involving drivers where an airbag deployed. In all cases, serious injuries were suspected. Eleven cases involved fatal injuries. While these cases are not representative of crashes in general, when used in conjunction with National Accident Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System NASS/CDS they provide insight into the most severe injuries in crashes of vehicles equipped with airbags.
A comparison with data from the NASS/CDS shows that head injury and abdominal injury make up a larger fraction in the Lehman data than in NASS/CDS. Examination of fatal cases indicates that head injuries are frequently caused by an intruding structure or by unfavorable occupant kinematics among the unrestrained population. The more precise injury examination provided to patients admitted to a Level I in Trauma Center may contribute to the higher proportion of abdominal injuries observed at the Lehman Center.
Serious upper extremity injuries are rare in the Lehamn data, but contribute a large harm fraction in NASS/CDS.
Both NASS/CDS and Lehman data indicate that lower extremity injuries are an increasing harm factor among occupants in severe crashes.
The Lehman data suggests that airbags are remarkably effective in high severity frontal crashes, however, in some rare events the protection at low crash severity may be less than without the airbag.
- Kennerly Digges - George Washington Univ.
- Jeffrey S. Augenstein - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Elana B. Perdeck - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Mary Murtha - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- James Stratton - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Carla Quigley - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Gregory Zych - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Patricia Byers - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Diego Nunez - William Lehman Injury Research Center
- Louis Lombardo - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- A. Malliaris - Deblois Associates