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Technical Paper

Side Impacts to the Passenger Compartment — Clinical Studies from Field Accident Investigations

The side impact, recently and currently the subject to of much debate, controversy and proposed NHTSA rule making, is a difficult type of crash to significantly reduce serious injuries and fatalites. Results from real-world crash investigations presents a confusing picture for the near-side passenger compartment crash. A direct relationship between the amount of crush and injury severity levels (MAIS) is not apparent. Exemplar cases of tow-a-way/injury crashes are presented at all AIS injury level of drivers in crashes with direct driver door crush damage.
Technical Paper

Methodology for Establishing and Operating Productive Accident Investigation Programs

Based upon nine years of experience in conducting in-depth, clinical motor vehicle accident investigations, the conditions and practices that have been found to be essential to the collection of reliable and adequate information are defined. ...The establishment and maintenance of relationships with the civil authorities, and hospitals and para-medical personnel with which the accident investigation teams must work, are explained. Examples from actual experience are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the authors' accident investigation information in identifying areas where vehicle design improvement is desirable and evidence that corrective action taken by the vehicle manufacturers has proved effective. ...Examples from actual experience are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the authors' accident investigation information in identifying areas where vehicle design improvement is desirable and evidence that corrective action taken by the vehicle manufacturers has proved effective.
Technical Paper

Accident Investigations of the Performance Characteristics of Energy Absorbing Steering Columns

Investigations of 1967 and 1968 model cars indicate that the injuries sustained by driver impacts to the steering assembly are markedly reduced because of the energy absorbing steering column. Drivers, however, are sustaining facial injuries from impact to the steering wheel rim even in low speed crashes. In more severe head-on collisions, the driver is compressing the energy absorbing column and is striking his face on the upper padded instrument panel in front of the steering wheel. Relatively severe facial fractures are sustained by impacting this portion of the panel.
Technical Paper

Automatic Shoulder Belts Injury Reduction in Toyota Cressida Crashes

This report presents nineeen cases of detailed field accident investigations of Toyota Cressida crashes wherein the automatic shoulder belt was worn. ...Specifics of the accidents and the injuries sustained by the passively restrained occupants are detailed.
Technical Paper

The Rear Seat Occupant from Data Analysis of Selected Clinical Case Studies

A review of the UM series and of NCSS, NASS, CPIR and FARS Files, as well as Michigan accident data files was undertaken, as well as a review of the NTSB “Rear Seat Study”. From these files rear seat occupany is approximately 10%, with children 6 years of age or less being 1/5th of these.
Technical Paper

Intraabdominal Injuries Associated with Lap-Shoulder Belt Usage

The “seat belt syndrome”, first described in 1961, identified abdominal organ injuries related to the use of the lap belt. Many articles have further documented detailed descriptions of intraabdominal lap belt related trauma. Lumbar spine distractions were later added to this injury list. Lap belt injury literature not infrequently hypothecates that some, if not all, of these seat belt syndrome injuries would be prevented, eliminated, or at least significantly reduced in frequency by the use of lap-shoulder belts. This report, based on data from crash investigations, documents lap-shoulder belt intraabdominal injuries occurring by belt loading alone, without significant intrusion and without significant dynamic flexing of the torso of the restrained front seat occupant.
Technical Paper

Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Injuries and the Lap-Shoulder Belt

From the authors' files, case examples of thoracolumbar injuries sustained by lap-shoulder belted front seat occupants, in frontal crashes, are presented. Additional cases were found in a review of the clinical literature. The biomechanical literature was reviewed, identifying laboratory studies on thoracolumbar spinal injuries. Suggested mechanisms in the production of these injuries in frontal type car crashes are postulated.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Occupant Injuries With and Without Seat Belts

Modulation of the occupant's movement within the vehicle by the seat belt reduces the potential for striking certain structures and decreases severity of the injuries. The seat belt also functions to direct the upper torso, especially the head, to specific interior surfaces. Design modifications of these areas are needed to prevent serious facial fractures that have been seen. Lap belted drivers contact the steering wheel rim or instrument panel in front of the wheel in head-on crashes; the front passenger strikes the upper instrument panel. Improper positioning of the lap seat belts produces serious intraabdominal injury, especially in the case of the rear passengers. Seat belt fatality cases were, in general, due to collapse and compromise of the occupant space as typified by the broadside intersection collision.
Technical Paper

Injury Severity, Ejection, and Occupant Contacts in Passenger Car Rollover Crashes

Ejection from a motor vehicle has been considered a hazardous event with the belief that occupant impacts outside of the car are the injury causing event. Analysis of NCSS data, and of Washtenaw County, Michigan crashes indicates, that more than half of the more serious injuries (≥AIS 3) occurred within the car prior to the ejection. Also in rollover crashes, side glass areas are the main portals of ejection, with the major injury being sustained within the car prior to ejection, occurring more often in far side down rollovers.
Technical Paper

Anatomy, Injury Frequency, Biomechanics, and Human Tolerances

The purpose of this literature review was to determine areas of automotive injury information that may add to knowledge of injury type, frequency, severity, and cause. This paper is a review of the literature concentrating on the period between 1965 and present. Literature on car, van, or 1ight truck occupants has been reviewed for injury frequencies, types, and locations. Current experimental biomechanical articles are also included. A search was made for descriptions of injury frequency, restraint effectiveness, and the causes of specific injuries. Medical and engineering journals, texts, and books were reviewed. For convenience, this report is divided into sections by body region with an overview introduction on the anatomy of the specific region.
Technical Paper

Near Side Passenger Car Impacts-CDC, AIS & Body Areas Injured (NASS Data)

This paper presents an analysis of the NASS file (1980 - 1986). Cases were selected for near side impacts for drivers, i.e. left side of car, involving unrestrained adult drivers who were alone in the car, and who were not involved in any other collisions following the primary left side impact. Data analysis indicates that 11 % of the near side drivers had crush damage to only the passenger compartment, the ‘P’ zone, that the head, chest and abdomen predominate as the body areas of concern (AIS 3+ injuries), but that these injuries are sustained more often on structures other than the side interior.
Technical Paper

Effectiveness of Current and Future Restraint Systems in Fatal and Serious Injury Automobile Crashes

Data from 101 front seat automobile occupant fatality crashes that the authors had investigated were reviewed along with 70 front seat automobile occupants who had the more severe (AIS 3, 4, or 5) level injuries who did not die. The effectiveness of the lap belt alone, lap-shoulder belt, air bag alone, air bag with lap belt, and the passive shoulder belt were made. The estimates reveal that none of the restraints would have prevented 42 to 51 of the fatalities. The air bag with lap belt, and the lap-shoulder belt system, have the highest effectiveness for reducing fatalities (AB+LB, 34%; LB+SH, 32%). The air bag with lap belt has an effectiveness of 68% in reducing the more serious injuries with the lap-shoulder belt nearly as equal (64%). NHTSA's fatality reduction estimates are excessively high and overly optomistic compared to ours, but theirs are noticeably lower for serious injury reduction than are ours. Comparisons with other restraint effectiveness studies are also made.
Technical Paper

Clinical Case Reviews of Light Truck and Van Crashes

This paper reviews some clinical case studies taken from field investigations conducted by the authors of actual crashes involving light trucks and vans. An attempt is made to indicate where Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards might possibly be applicable and to compare cases where vehicle design changes apparently reduced the severity of injuries. In particular, cases are shown where occupants were restrained and where steering column energy absorbing and rearward displacement systems have been installed.