The circumstances in which belted front seat occupants die in frontal crashes are described for fatal accidents involving vehicles less than six years old in the Midlands of England. The data shows that the sample of fatal front seat passengers was generally older than that of drivers with a median age of 67 years as opposed to 39 years. Fatally injured drivers sustained serious head injury at more than twice the rate of front seat passengers. 42% of drivers with serious head injury incurred no skull fracture. In impacts which might be assessed by barrier crash tests, the steering wheel was not the only major source of serious head injury to drivers and was more frequently the cause of serious chest trauma. Serious injuries for front seat passengers were most frequently generated by the seat belt under those conditions. The data suggests that the conditions of high crash severity and intrusion are not the only factors associated with fatal injuries and that in addition to vehicle structural performance a consideration of the biomechanical tolerance of the exposed population is also needed. (A) For the covering abstract see IRRD 880121.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 131-5

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00724160
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 7-80003-311-2
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 19 1996 12:00AM