Biomechanical and Injury Response to Posterolateral Loading From Torso Side Airbags
This study characterized thoracoabdominal response to posterolateral loading from a seat-mounted side airbag. Seven unembalmed post-mortem human subjects were exposed to ten airbag deployments. Subjects were positioned such that the deploying airbag first contacted the posterolateral thorax between T6 and L1 while stationary (n = 3 x 2 aspects) or while subjected to left lateral sled impact at ΔV = 6.7 m/s (n = 4). Chestband contours were analyzed to quantify deformation direction in the thoracic x-y plane (zero degrees indicating anterior and 180° indicating posterior), magnitude, rate, and viscous response. Skeletal injuries were consistent with posterolateral contact; visceral injuries consisted of renal (n = 1) or splenic (n = 3) lacerations. Deformation direction was transient during sled impact, progressing from 122 ± 5° at deformation onset to 90° following maximum deflection. Angles from stationary subjects progressed from 141 ± 9° to 120°.