Frequency and Significance of Seat Belt Induced Neck Injuries in Lateral Collisions 811031

It is well established that properly worn seat belts reduce the incidence of severe neck injuries in car accidents in general. However, for certain configurations of nearside lateral collisions this statement has not been substantiated beyond any doubt by the published field accident data. In order to further evaluate this question, the samples of two accident investigation programs, one from Switzerland and one from France, were combined and analysed accordingly. They contain a total of 810 wearers of three point belts OAIS* > = 2, 98 of which are cases of lateral nearside impacts. In 10 % (N = 10) of this subset neck injuries of AIS >=1 were registered. 7 of those 10 cases were of a degree of AIS>=2 whereby 2 of them could directly be attributed to an immediate belt contact. The corresponding incidence of neck injuries in the rest of the sample (712 cases of frontal, farside impacts, rollovers etc. with 111 victims exhibiting a neck injury rated AIS>=1) is not significantly different.


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