Physical Evidence Associated with Seatbelt Entanglement During a Collision 2007-01-1501
Occupant ejection may occur during planar and rollover collisions. These ejections can be associated with serious/fatal injuries. Occasionally, occupants will allege that they were wearing a seatbelt immediately before the ejection occurred. Some accident investigators have opined that a seatbelt became disengaged due to collision forces and/or occupant interactions, leaving the occupant essentially unrestrained and exposed to ejection from the vehicle. We present three case studies of collisions with documented seatbelt disengagement at or during the collision, as well as three controlled tests. The release of the seatbelt was always associated with dire consequences for the occupant's outboard upper extremity. Evidence of seatbelt webbing interaction with the occupant was always evident, and the interaction of the belt with the vehicle interior trim was also apparent.