1974-02-01

A Real World Perspective on Automobile Accidents Involving Small-Child Passengers 740935

The purpose of this study was to obtain information useful for improving crash protection for small children. Previous research efforts have produced findings relating to accident characteristics in general, and those findings have been used to improve passenger protection. However, little work has focused on the particular characteristics of nonfatal and fatal accidents involving small-child passengers. Thus, this study compared accidents involving small children (five years old and younger) with accidents not involving small children, to establish the similarities and differences between those types of accidents.The principal findings of the study are briefly summarized in the following description of a composite accident in which a small child is an occupant of the car:The child is very likely a passenger in a car driven by a female between 20 and 35 years of age, who is not wearing a seat belt, and who has not been drinking. The accident, likely a frontal impact collision, occurs in daylight, most likely on a Friday. If the child is fatally injured, there is a substantial (about a 13%) chance that the collision involves non-horizontal impact forces, including a greater chance of rollover than for other fatal-accident-involved cars.

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