PASSIVE COMPARED TO ACTIVE APPROACHES TO REDUCING OCCUPANT FATALITIES. 12TH INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ON EXPERIMENTAL SAFETY VEHICLES, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN, MAY 29-JUNE 1, 1989

The results of a recent study that estimated the effectiveness of airbags in reducing driver and right front passenger fatalities are summarized. In addition, the effectiveness of various other active and passive approaches to occupant crash protection are also discussed. Passive approaches include energy absorbing steering columns, instrumental panel padding, and increasing car mass. Activie approaches include lap/shoulder belts in the front seat of cars, lap-only belts in the rear seats of cars, motorcycle helmets, car passengers transferring from front to rear seats, and crash avoidance. It is concluded that many disparate approaches can generate important reductions in occupant fatalities ( a one percent reduction in occupant fatalities saves about 200 lives per year). The most commonly discussed active protection device, the lap/shoulder belt, is substantially more effective at reducing driver fatalities than is the most commonly discussed passive device, the airbag. A 54% use rate of lap/shoulder belts generates the same fatality reduction as universal use of airbags without the use of other restraints. It is recommended that discussions of occupant protection should include all measures that reduce occpant injury. For example, of the various passive approaches reviewed, increasing car mass generates the largest occupant fatality reductions.

  • Corporate Authors:

    General Motors Corporation

    Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road
    Warren, MI  United States  48090
  • Authors:
    • Evans, Leonard
  • Publication Date: 1989-6

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00611576
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GMR-6596
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1991 12:00AM