To deploy or not to deploy: frontal impact case studies

This study investigated the role of the front airbags in two moderate severity single vehicle frontal impacts where there were unusual fatal outcomes. In both cases, either trauma from the collision or airbag involvement was hypothesized to be involved. In one case, the front airbags did not deploy and the belted male driver was found dead at the scene. Post-mortem evidence indicated that the occupant had a bicuspid aortic valve and sudden aortic dissection likely precipitated by the collision. In the other case, a belted elderly female front passenger sustained severe head and neck injuries due to interaction with the first stage of the advanced passenger's airbag, and subsequently died in hospital. The elderly female had an underlying arthritic degenerative cervical spinal disc and facet disease which contributed to the injuries. In-depth investigation and reconstruction, including linking crash and injury data was critical for understanding occupant injury mechanisms, and determining the role of the front airbags in these two cases.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference XVII, June 3-6, 2007, Montreal, Quebec

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01386963
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 9:56PM