COMPARATIVE INJURY TO BELTED AND UNBELTED DRIVERS OF SUB-COMPACT, COMPACT, INTERMEDIATE, AND STANDARD CARS

This study presents current crash data showing injuries and deaths sustained by belted and unbelted drivers of cars in five market classes which, in general, correspond with vehicle size. From this, conclusions can be drawn as to the likely future death and injury trends as they are influenced by car size. From a pool of one-half million crash-involved passenger cars, 1970 through 1973 models were assigned to five market class groups and each was sub-divided into a belted and unbelted driver sub-class. For a "standardized comparison," driver injury in each of the ten groups is compared to a standard reference group of more than one-half million crash-involved passenger car drivers. An injury index is used to compare each group with the reference group. All measures of injury show progressively worsening injuries as the car size decreases. In every category of car size and injury criteria, belted drivers fare better than unbelted drivers. Relative benefits of belts increase with the severity of the injury used as a criteria. For full sized and intermediate cars there appears to be an 80% reduction in death associated with belt use. The import class has a reduction of 33%. Many added deaths and injuries will be produced by the expected transition to smaller cars. This penalty can be offset by the regular use of seat belts. (MW)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Third International Congress on Automotive Safety, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Highway Safety Research Center
    Chapel Hill, NC  USA  27599

    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    1005 North Glebe Road
    Arlington, VA  USA  22201
  • Authors:
    • Campbell, B J
    • O'Neill, B
    • Tingley, B
  • Publication Date: 1974-7

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130758
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM