Side airbag deployments in the UK - initial case reviews

2006-03-21T11:16:33Z (GMT) by Alan Kirk Andrew Morris
As in-vehicle safety technology becomes more prevalent, the corresponding fitment of side airbags in the United Kingdom is now more commonplace. This study adds to the body of knowledge on real world impacts by presenting initial cases of deployment from the UK, including examples where there is some suggestion that side airbag deployment may have contributed to injury outcomes. With the introduction of new restraint devices into the vehicle fleet, manufacturers and engineers are not only eager to quantify their benefit and injury mitigation effectiveness but to also consider the performance and application in the real world. Whilst there are presently insufficient numbers of cases to fully evaluate injury benefit in side impacts, individual case evaluations can provide an initial assessment of side airbag field performance. In this study, data from 47 crashes in which the side airbag deployed were available for analysis. Of these, 19 occupants sustained a MAIS ≥ 2 injury. Case reviews have identified 2 occupants where serious (AIS 3) thoracic injuries may have occurred through interaction with the deploying side airbag and a further case involving upper extremity fracture (AIS 3) was also thought to have been associated with side airbag deployment. In these 3 cases, crash severity and compartmental deformation were not considered to be extensive. However in the majority of cases, side airbag deployment did not cause injury to the occupant and a general overview of these cases is given.