Intrusion in Side Impact Crashes
Half of the car occupant deaths involved in two-vehicle crashes results from side impact collisions. In an attempt to better understand the role that vehicle mass plays in crashes and injury causation, detailed information from the NASS CDS database on injury source was distributed in three classes: contact with intrusion, contact without intrusion, and restrained acceleration or non-contact. We compared these distributions for belted drivers in side verses frontal crashes. When looking at the type of striking, or bullet, vehicle in near-side impacts, we found that intrusion injuries are more prevalent in cars hit by SUVs and pickups than by other cars. We also looked at the body region injured verses the type of striking vehicle and found head injuries to be slightly more prevalent when the striking vehicle is an SUV or pick-up. Data from the University of Michigan CIREN case studies on side impacts are presented and are consistent with the NASS CDS data.