1984-02-01

Improving the Crashworthiness of Restraints for Handicapped Children 840528

As a result of improved educational opportunities, handicapped children have increased exposure to transportation related risks. Many of these children require specialized orthopedic seating and posture control devices and must remain in them while riding in a vehicle. The lack of impact protection features in these seating devices introduces an unnecessary level of risk. The emphasis of this program was to demonstrate that proven restraint principles could be applied to handicapped seating without compromising the medical requirements of these units. Efforts were concentrated on two such systems: a molded-shell orthotic seat and a stroller-type Travel Chair. Sled impact tests at 30 mph and 20 g's were used to assist in the evaluation of the upgraded restraints. The results have been encouraging and have shown that handicapped seating can supply the same level of crash protection provided by conventional child restraint systems.

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