Car safety for children aged 4-12: real world evaluations of long-term injury outcome, head injury causation scenarios, misuse, and pre-crash maneuver kinematics

Child casualties in car crashes have decreased over the years. Nevertheless, occupant safety in rear seats, especially for children 4-12 years old, needs further attention because motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death and long-term health consequences for children. The aim of this thesis was to obtain comprehensive knowledge of real-life situations for restrained, forward-facing, rear-seated children aged 4-12 years, in frontal car crashes as a basis for vehicle safety improvements to reduce long-term health consequences. The thesis is comprised of four studies based on child-specific data from Sweden and the US. Study I was based on injury data from insurance claim files, covering 2619 injured children in Sweden. Study II was an experimental study of restraint misuse, including 130 Swedish children. Study III analyzed crash data included 27 cases from two US databases, to determine injury causation scenarios. Study IV was a driving study of how pre-crash maneuvers affect child occupant kinematics with 16 children included. In conclusion, the primary recommendation as a result of this research is to protect the head and neck of child occupants from both minor and severe injuries, since all severity levels of injuries may result in long-term consequences. Frontal impacts, including oblique impacts or maneuvers prior to impact, need to be addressed to develop “tolerant” restraint systems. Furthermore, it is recommended to design and use vehicle-built-in restraint systems to improve crash safety among children, by facilitating proper use of the restraint and placement on the child, as has been previously done for front-seated adults. To incentivize vehicle manufacturers to accelerate the implementation of child safety improvements within their vehicles, an assessment of child safety for 4-12-year-old children should be included in consumer rating programs and legal requirements.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1 file

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01494384
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 9789175491240
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 25 2013 11:51AM