Rear Seat Child Occupant Safety in Rear-Impact Collisions 2021-26-0010
Child safety in the back seat during a rear-impact chiefly depends on how well the survival space is maintained at their location. Collapsing front seatback pose a foreseeable hazard as it intrudes into the survival space of the child on the backseat. Furthermore, the condition gets worse in the presence of a structural intrusion from the rear that tends to push the occupant further closer to the backward collapsing seatbacks.
This paper reports two real-world rear impact collisions resulting severe to fatal injuries to the child occupant seating behind the driver. Each collision shows the dangers of seatback collapse into the survival space of the child. Furthermore, the paper demonstrates safety through design concept by employing seats with strong seatback design resisting collapse into the survival space of the child.
The crash sled-testing are conducted to show the importance of front seatback strength preventing its collapse and occupant ramping up into the child’s survival space. Furthermore, occupant kinematics confirms seatbelt system working together with the seat to increase the level of occupant protection. The shoulder belt limits the shoulder motion and further impedes the occupant ramping up on the seatback. The head, neck and chest injury parameters for the front seat occupants remains below the published Injury Assessment Reference Value (IARV) confirming the advantage of stronger seatbacks in a rear impact scenario protecting rear and front seat occupants.