Field Data Study of the Effect of Knee Airbags on Lower Extremity Injury in Frontal Crashes
The lower extremity (LEX) is the most frequently injured body region in frontal crashes, and moderate to severe injuries to this region can lead to a reduction in quality of life. Knee airbags (KABs) are one countermeasure in newer vehicles that could influence LEX injury. To determine the effect of KABs on LEX injury for drivers in frontal crashes, the analysis examined moderate to severe LEX injury (AIS 2+) using field data from two sources. Logistic regression included six main effect factors (KAB deployment, BMI, age, sex, belt status, and intrusion to the driver-side instrument panel/toe pan/floor pan). Eighty-five cases with KAB deployment from the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) database were supplemented with 8 cases from the International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) database and compared to 289 CIREN non-KAB cases. All cases evaluated drivers in frontal impacts (11 to 1 o’clock PDOF) with known belt use in 2004 and newer model year vehicles.