The Interaction of Air Bags with Upper Extremities
Recently there has been a greater awareness of the increased risk of certain injuries associated with air bag deployment, especially the risks to small occupants, often women. These injuries include serious eye and upper extremity injuries and even fatalities. This study investigates the interaction of a deploying air bag with cadaveric upper extremities in a typical driving posture; testing concentrates on female occupants. The goals of this investigation are to determine the risk of upper extremity injury caused by primary contact with a deploying air bag and to elucidate the mechanisms of these upper extremity injuries. Five air bags were used that are representative of a wide range of air bag ‘aggressivities’ in the current automobile fleet. This air bag ‘aggressivity’ was quantified using the response of a dummy forearm under air bag deployment.