Injury Patterns in Near-Side Collisions 2000-01-0634
This paper examines injuries and injury mechanisms in side impact crashes being addressed by the United States standard, FMVSS 214. In this side impact protection standard, a moving deformable barrier impacts the occupant compartment of a vehicle being tested. The moving barrier is crabbed at an angle of 23 degrees measured relative to the side of the struck vehicle. The standard assesses the crash protection provided in a vehicle-to-vehicle crash to an occupant seated on the struck side, in the vicinity of the maximum intrusion. The National Automobile Sampling System /Crashworthiness Database System (NASS/CDS) data indicates that 75% AIS 3+ injuries occur in vehicle-to-vehicle crashes, 66% occur to the struck side occupants and 94% occur in crashes with damage to the occupant compartment. Crash directions of 10 and 2 o’clock are the most common injury producing crashes.
In vehicle-to-vehicle side crashes examined in this study, the most frequent seriously injured (AIS 3+) body regions in the NASS/CDS 1988/1996 database were: chest/ abdomen - 49%; head/face - 24%, pelvic/lower extremity - 14%; and neck/spine - 4%. The University of Miami School of Medicine -William Lehman Injury Research Center (WLIRC) data was representative of more severe crashes than the NASS/CDS database, and it contained a higher percentage of chest/abdominal injuries and a lower percentage of pelvic/lower extremity injuries. In the WLIRC data, the most frequent severely injured (AIS 4+) organs were the brain (21%) and the thoracic aorta (21%).
In-depth analysis of brain induced injuries showed that the most frequent injury causing contacts for head injuries were: other vehicle 37.5%; pillar, 25%, and side interior, 25%. Light trucks were most frequently the source of the injuring head strikes. For aortic injuries, 100% were from contact with the side interior. Other factors that were observed in the WLIRC cases with aortic injuries were: older occupants, female gender, the presence of a far side occupant, oblique angles of impact, and damage to the front fender and door of the struck vehicle.