1995-11-01

Review of the Air Bag Effectiveness in Real Life Accidents Demands - for Positioning and Optimal Deployment of Air Bag Systems 952701

In Europe there is less experience with air bag deployments in accidents than the US-scene. Within the continuing in-depth investigations at the Medical University Hannover 41 accidents with air bag deployments could be documented. A detailed description of selected accidents is given in the study. The injuries of the occupants are described and the injury mechanisms caused by the air bag deployment are discussed. In the study the distribution of injury severities are compared for accidents with seat belt system only correlating to those with air bag additionally.
The air bag fitted cases demonstrate that the protective effect was essentually based on using the seat belt. Especially for less load level some injuries occured which can called as airbag specific injuries. These are some haematoma in the thorax and face region als well as burn injuries, but a higher risk for distorsions of the cervical spine AIS 1 could be seen.
These results lead to the supposition that in case of air bag - seat belt systems the current level of deployment is too low. It is the proposal of the study to use the effectiveness of the seat belt system only up to delta-v 35 or 40 km/h and the air bag effectiveness should be aimed at above this delta-v level. The benefit of an air bag could be established with higher delta-v.
A second part of the study quantifies the benefit of an airbag for frontal and lateral collisions.

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