Effect of age on injury outcome in passenger car frontal crashes

2016-06-14T08:44:35Z (GMT) by Karthikeyan Ekambaram Richard Frampton
The senior population is growing rapidly across most motorised countries resulting in an increasing number of elderly motor vehicle users. Accident data from the UK Cooperative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) were analysed to examine the relationship between age and injury outcome for belted front seat occupants in passenger car frontal crashes. Results showed that, for similar frontal crash characteristics, the MAIS outcome was more severe for older front seat occupants (65+) and they were more likely to be fatally injured compared to middle-aged and younger occupants. The chest was the most frequently injured body region. The older occupants sustained more injuries to the chest region compared to their younger counterparts and these injuries were predominately skeletal injury induced by seat belt forces. Older occupants had a higher rate of multiple rib fractures compared to younger and middle aged occupants. The increase in the number of rib fractures showed a strong association with increase in intrathoracic organ injury. These results suggest that older occupants are more vulnerable to serious injury to the chest region in frontal impacts. Vehicle crashworthiness systems that account for differences in age related injury tolerance could have a positive effect on injury outcome in frontal car crashes.