1967-02-01

Injuries to Rear Seat Occupants in Automobile Collisions 670918

A study was made of 54 collisions resulting in injuries to rear-seat occupants unrestrained by seatbelts. It was determined that children (who represent a disproportionate percentage of rear-seat occupants) tend to become airborne and to incur severe injuries against the windshield, miror, dashboard and header. Adults tend to injure the face and head against the front seat and to sustain typical leg fractures from trapping their feet under the front seat. The occupants seated at the outside edges of the rear seat sustain dangerous injuries from metal ashtrays and window crank handles out of proportion to the severity of the collision. All unrestrained rear-seat occupants add to the injuries of front-seat occupants by hurtling into them. Terminology to describe the types and severity of collisions is offered to facilitate medical and engineering evaluation of injuries. Recommendations are made for design changes to lessen hazards.

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