1993-03-01

Field Accident Evaluations and Experimental Study of Seat Back Performance Relative to Rear-Impact Occupant Protection 930346

This study examines in some detail 23 actual rear-impact cases dealing with front seat collapse and compares the findings with similar results from 23 Canadian cases. In addition, seat tests and car-to-car crash tests are utilized to examine the potential hazards and/or benefits of collapsing versus non-collapsing seat systems. Evaluation of the above 46 cases indicates that an extremely high rate of rearward ejection occurs to restrained front-seat occupants subjected to rear impact. The majority of those ejected experienced serious to fatal injuries, either from contact in the rear or outside of the vehicle, when seated in collapsing seats. These results are contrary to some earlier published data and, as such, recommendations are made which could help improve data collection methods so as to better evaluate the issues associated with rear-impact seat strength.

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