Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accide...
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Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractions. Dan Goor - XSCI, Inc. Sheldon Lee Stucki - SEIS, Inc. March 5, 2001. Current Air Bag Crash Environment.

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Dan goor xsci inc sheldon lee stucki seis inc march 5 2001

Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractions

Dan Goor - XSCI, Inc.

Sheldon Lee Stucki - SEIS, Inc.

March 5, 2001


Current air bag crash environment
Current Air Bag Crash Environment Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractions

  • Overall, air bags are effective in saving lives.As of 4/1/2000 about 5,000 lives (NHTSA)

  • Certain occupants may be “at risk” when too close to deploying air bag

  • Recent air bags with de-powering, dual stage inflation, etc., have reduced the problem


Occupants most at risk from air bags
Occupants Most “At Risk” Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractionsfrom Air Bags

  • Small drivers with seat positioned near air bag module.

  • Unbelted child passengers sitting near the air bag and/or with pre-crash events.

  • Infants in rear-facing CSS’s placed near or against the air bag, due to configuration.


Air bags and infants in rear facing child seats rfcss
Air Bags and Infants in Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing DistractionsChild Seats (RFCSS)

  • 18 infants in RFCSS’s killed by air bags, projected 15 killed annually with 98 fleet.

  • Even “low” inflation air bags may be hazardous to infants in RFCSS’s

  • Back seat safest but parents still place infants in front seat with air bags despite warnings.


Reasons parents place infants in the front seat fraser group study
Reasons Parents Place Infants in the Front Seat - Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing DistractionsFraser Group Study

  • 59% felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat are very distracting and 31% somewhat distracting.

  • 69% felt that it was much easier to care for infants in RFCSS’s in the front seat and 25% somewhat easier.


Reasons parents place infants in the front seat fraser group study1
Reasons Parents Place Infants in the Front Seat - Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing DistractionsFraser Group Study

  • 79.5% felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat could be distracting enough to cause crashes.

  • 83% felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the front seat are less apt to cause accidents than infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat.


Development of an air bag safe rfcss
Development of an “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractions

  • Current RFCSS’s unable to withstand air bag deployment forces and protect infant.

  • New design incorporates structural rigidity, energy absorption & geometry improvements to withstand forces of air bag deployment and protect the infant.


Benefits of using air bag safe rfcss in front seat
Benefits of Using “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS in Front Seat Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident-Causing Distractions

  • Reduce/eliminate fatalities from deploying air bags.

  • Reduce crashes/injuries/fatalities by removing rear seat distractions.

  • Provide further protection to infants in all crashes


Estimate benefits of using air bag safe rfcss in front seat
Estimate Benefits of Using “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS in Front Seat

  • Estimate % crashes caused by distraction to driver by infants in RFCSS’s in rear seat.

  • Estimate current injuries/fatalities reduced by moving infants to front seat.

  • Adjust injury/fatality savings by applying higher risk for moving to front seat.


Infants in child safety seats by location and environment
Infants in Child Safety Seats by Seat Location and Environment

“On-Road” - 19 City Study, 1990-1991

“In Crashes” – 1990-1991 NASS GES


Benefits of removing rear seat distractions
Benefits of Removing Rear Seat Distractions Seat

  • Crash involvement rate per on road vehicle 33 % lower for infants in the front seat compared to rear seat.

  • Assume that injuries and fatalities are reduced by the same 33 % if infants are in front seat.





Conclusions
Conclusions Seat

  • Infants in RFCSS’s are still “at risk” from air bag deployment.

  • A new design for a RFCSS will provide protection with air bag deployment.

  • Moving infants to the front seat may reduce crashes by 33 % by removing distractions.