Update on Second-Row Children Responses in Rear and Frontal Crashes with a Focus on the Potential Effect of Stiffening Front Seat Structures 2020-01-1215
The protection of children in rear seats is an important issue, but it is a more complex than assessing front seat performance in rear impacts. 1997–2015 NASS-CDS data were analyzed to estimate the distribution and risk of seriously-to-fatally (MAIS 3+F) injured 0-7 year old children in the 2nd row by crash types with 1994+ model year vehicles. The results showed that children were frequently injured in frontal (39.3%) and in side (27.2%) crashes. The injury risk was highest in rollover (1.72% ± 0.36) followed by rear crashes (0.75% ± 0.56%). Individual rear and frontal impact cases were also reviewed to better understand injury mechanisms of children in the 2nd row. The cases were downloaded and reviewed. There were 15 injured children involved in 14 rear impact crashes. Half were associated with significant intrusion (12+ inches) intrusion of their seating area, pushing the child forward. More than half (7 out of 11 cases with known information) of the front seatbacks remained in their pre-crash position or were pushed forward. Rear crashes involving the front-seat rotating rearward into a seriously injured 2nd row child were uncommon (4 out 11 cases). There were 63 injured children in frontal impact crashes. Children with serious (AIS 3+) head and spine injury were most commonly injured by contact with the seatback, B-pillar or other structures in front of them.