1979-02-01

Effectiveness of Current and Future Restraint Systems in Fatal and Serious Injury Automobile Crashes 790323

Data from 101 front seat automobile occupant fatality crashes that the authors had investigated were reviewed along with 70 front seat automobile occupants who had the more severe (AIS 3, 4, or 5) level injuries who did not die. The effectiveness of the lap belt alone, lap-shoulder belt, air bag alone, air bag with lap belt, and the passive shoulder belt were made. The estimates reveal that none of the restraints would have prevented 42 to 51 of the fatalities. The air bag with lap belt, and the lap-shoulder belt system, have the highest effectiveness for reducing fatalities (AB+LB, 34%; LB+SH, 32%). The air bag with lap belt has an effectiveness of 68% in reducing the more serious injuries with the lap-shoulder belt nearly as equal (64%). NHTSA's fatality reduction estimates are excessively high and overly optomistic compared to ours, but theirs are noticeably lower for serious injury reduction than are ours. Comparisons with other restraint effectiveness studies are also made.

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