This report presents a field study of road accidents involving 105 vehicles; the accidents were selected from the severe and fatal injury end of the injury spectrum. This sample of accidents is fairly representative of severe collisions involving car occupants in current model European cars in Britain. The incidence of various crash configurations is outlined, together with the objects struck and the rate with which the passenger compartment is penetrated. The relative frequencies of side impacts, multiple and complex collisions are described. Each collision is examined in terms of the likely reduction in injuries to front seat occupants which might be obtained if an airbag had been present. In a similar manner, each collision is examined to assess the benefit which would have been derived if a lap/diagonal seat belt had been worn. An overall judgment is passed on the relative benefits obtainable from airbags and belts. Belts are shown to be superior because they provide protection in a greater range of collision types. If belts were worn by over 63% of drivers and 85% of front passengers, they would provide greater benefits than airbags. The importance of intrusion into the passenger compartment, especially in fatal collisions is emphasized as a restriction on restraint effectiveness in present day European car designs.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • AGARD Conference on Linear Acceleration (Impact Type) held in Oporto, Portugal, 23-26 June 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Technical Editing and Reproduction Limited

    London,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Mackay, G M
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00262040
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: International Road Research Documentation, OECD
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf Paper
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 1974 12:00AM