1971-02-01

Lap-Shoulder Restraint Effectiveness in The United States 710077

Lap-shoulder belts, although infrequently used by vehicle occupants, are demonstrating a remarkably high reduction of injury in collisions where they were used. A search was made for all collisions in the GM files where at least one occupant was wearing the lap-shoulder belt combination restraint. Of the 160 cases found for this study, 60% of the vehicles had heavy damage of the type often associated with occupant injury: however, 99% of the lap-shoulder belt users either had no-injury or only minor injury. The only two fatalities found in the study involved accidents occurring under unusual circumstances.This paper describes 18 of the most severe damage and/or injury cases by means of photographs and collision descriptions. Some grouping of body injuries is also listed. These data illustrate that the use of different occupant restraint configurations (unrestrained, lap belt, and lap-shoulder belt) affect the severity of injuries to various body areas. In addition, a notable shift in the frequency of injury to various body areas is also shown.

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