The Effect of Rear Row Seating Position on the Risk of Injury to Belted Children in Side Impacts in Passenger Cars

Several studies have characterized the benefits of rear seating on injury outcome in children. While most studies have focused on frontal impacts, our previous work demonstrated that these benefits apply to side impacts as well. In this earlier study, however, results indicated that among those rear seated, the side impact injury risk did not vary by seat position, i.e. those on the struck side had similar injury risk to those on the non-struck side. In that study, the center rear occupants were grouped with the non-struck side occupants, and compared with the struck side. The present analyses built upon that previous work and sought to further explore and explain those results by studying the effect of the three distinct rear seat positions (struck-side, center, non-struck-side) in side impacts in a sample limited to seat belt restrained children. Data were obtained from a probability sample of 592 children, representing 6370 children, 4-15 years of age who were enrolled in an on-going crash surveillance system which links insurance claims data to validated telephone survey and crash investigation data. The sample was limited to children restrained by seat belts involved in side impact crashes and seated in the rear seating rows. The risk of injury was calculated for each seating position - struck, center or non-struck side of the crash. Injuries were defined as scalp and facial lacerations, facial bone fractures, and all other AIS 2 and greater injuries. Risk of injury was lower to children seated on the non-struck-side (1.4%) as compared to those on the struck-side (2.6%) (OR:0.55, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.93). Of interest, the injury risk to children seated on the struck side (2.6%) was roughly equal to that of those in the center rear position (3.0%) (OR: 1.15, 95% CI: 0.50, 2.66). Accounting for differences in child age did not change the aforementioned results. These results highlight the elevated injury risk for children in center rear seating position in side impacts, and suggest that the injury mitigation approach is unique to that of the other rear seating positions.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 7p
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings - 19th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Washington, D.C., June 6-9, 2005

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01066513
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 05-0281
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 16 2007 8:40AM