Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-0022

An Analysis of Recent Accidents Involving Upper Extremity Fractures Associated with Airbag Deployment 2002-01-0022

Prior experimental and field studies have demonstrated an increased risk of upper extremity fracture due the deployment of frontal airbags. The experimental studies provide valuable insight as to likely injury mechanisms; namely, increasing proximity increases the risk of forearm fracture. Still, field data is needed to validate these experimental findings. The available field data has largely been derived from direct case study analysis or a review of government accident statistics. In both cases, the datasets were comprised solely of pre-1995 era vehicles. Such data represents early generation airbag designs and there has been little additional study in this area. In addition, there has been an absence of fracture pattern analyses as a function of airbag deployment and non-deployment. Such an analysis would help elucidate the role of the deploying airbag on upper extremity fracture in the current fleet. In the current study we analyzed the NASS database and cases admitted to our trauma service. Our analysis shows that the forearm was fractured most frequently and that airbag deployment is associated with a 2 to 3 times increase in the proportion of forearm fractures versus no bag deployment. Further, it was found that females were statistically more at risk to suffer a forearm fracture even after pair matching for airbag deployment exposure and occupant sex. The current study shows that airbag deployment increases the risk of forearm fracture as a proportion of all upper extremity fractures and that females are at an increased risk of such injury.


Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »


Members save up to 17% off list price.
Login to see discount.
Special Offer: Download multiple Technical Papers each year? TechSelect is a cost-effective subscription option to select and download 12-100 full-text Technical Papers per year. Find more information here.
We also recommend:

Incidence of Severe Upper Extremity Injuries and Minor Skin Injuries In Frontal Automobile Crashes


View Details


Upper Extremity Injuries Related to Air Bag Deployments


View Details


Projected Evolution of Restraint Systems


View Details