Lower Torso Injuries and Automobile Seat Belts 760370

Injuries to the lower torso (abdomen, pelvis, and lumbar spine) were studied in front seat, lap-belted, outboard occupants involved in frontal crashes. The data indicate that the “no injury” category is increased by 50% in belt users over unbelted occupants. Of injured lap-belted occupants, only one in five was injured in the lower torso area. Of these injuries, 7 out of 10 were rated as minor. Belts reduce the occurrence of serious injuries in all lower torso regions except the lumbar area. The more serious injuries occur at impact speeds of over 30 mph. Only 5% of the injured lap-belted occupants had critical to life-threatening injuries in the lower torso area. The angle of the seat belt does not appear to be related to lower torso injury severity.


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