Case study: 128 injured in rollover coach crashes in Sweden— injury outcome, mechanisms and possible effects of seat belts

The risk for injuries in rollover coach crashes are dependent on whether the occupants are belted or not. However, the influence of the different belt systems for reducing injuries has remained unclear. Since many injuries sustained are caused by impacts with the interior, passenger interactions or ejection through a window, the advantages by proper seat belt systems are evident. In this study, representing the most common serious crash scenario for serious injury, 128 injured in rollover cases were analysed with regard to the injury outcome, mechanisms and the possible injury reduction for occupants when using a safety belt. Furthermore, the different belt systems were compared to explain their contribution to increased safety. Based on medical reports and questioning of the passengers, the injuries sustained are recorded according to the AIS classification. The next step was the identification of the injury mechanisms, using the passenger statements as well as results from numerical occupant simulations. It is important to mention that this study was purely focused on detection of the injury mechanism to avoid the reported injuries. The possibility of additional injuries due to the wearing of a belt were not taken into account. However, the analysis of the 128 injured showed a considerable increase in safety for belted occupants through limiting interior contacts, minimising passenger interaction and reducing the possibility of ejection.