A REVIEW OF RESEARCH ON THE PROTECTION AFFORDED TO OCCUPANTS OF CARS BY SEAT BELTS WHICH PROVIDE UPPER TORSO RESTRAINT

The paper presents a critical review and summary of research on the protection afforded to car occupants by seat belts which provide upper torso restraint. The nature and causes of the injuries which occur even when seat belts are worn are then considered, and methods of reducing injuries still further are suggested. Summaries are given of 8 selected European and American papers on seat belts in accidents. The estimated reductions in serious injuries varied from 45 to 70%, and reasons are suggested for the occurrence of these differences. Evidence of the reduction in deaths, as opposed to serious injuries, when seat belts are worn is scanty, but Australian experience of the results of compulsory seat belt wearing suggest that the wearing of seat belts with upper torso restraint reduces deaths of car occupants by at least 40%. In non-fatal accidents to belted occupants, head, chest and leg injuries give rise to the largest numbers of severe injuries (AIS greater than 3). In fatalities to belted occupants, however, while head injury retains its premier position, abdominal injury is at least as important as chest injury. Modifications to the design of lap and diagonal seat belts are suggested. (a) to restrict loads on the abdomen and chest to levels which will not result in serious injury, and (b) to reduce forward movement of the head so as to lessen the risk of head injury. (a) (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pergammon Press Limited

    Headington Hill Hall
    Oxford OX3 0BW,   England 
  • Authors:
    • GRIME, G
  • Publication Date: 1979-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00325316
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 21 1981 12:00AM