The performance of air bags, as an occupant protection system,
is of high interest to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA or Agency). Since 1972, the NHTSA has
operated a Special Crash Investigations (SCI) program which
provides in-depth crash investigation data on new and rapidly
changing occupant protection technologies in real-world crashes.
The Agency uses these in-depth data to evaluate vehicle safety
systems and form a basis for rulemaking actions. The data are also
used by the automotive industry and other organizations to evaluate
the performance of motor vehicle occupant protection systems such
as air bags.
This paper presents information from NHTSA's SCI program
concerning crash investigations on air-bag-equipped vehicles. The
paper focus is on data collection and some general findings in air
bag crash investigations including: air-bag-related fatal and
life-threatening injuries; side air bags; redesigned air bags and
advanced air bags.
Augustus ""Chip'' B. Chidester, Thomas A. Roston
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles