Performance of Depowered Air Bags in Real World Crashes 2002-01-0186
During the period 1992 through 2000, the William Lehman Injury Research Center collected crash and injury data on 141 drivers and 41 right front passengers in frontal crashes with air bag deployment. Among these cases were twenty-eight cases with depowered air bags. The paper compares the crash characteristics for injured occupants in vehicles with 1st generation and depowered air bags.
The population with 1st generation air bags contains unexpected fatalities among as well as fatalities at low delta-V's. To date, these populations are absent among the fatally injured occupants of vehicles with depowered air bags. The depowered cases include both belted and unbelted survivors at crash severities above 40 mph delta-V. The maximum injury in these severe crashes was AIS 3 with no evidence of unsatisfactory air bag performance. However, serious internal chest injuries were observed in two cases with unrestrained drivers at crash severities of 19 and 24 mph.