Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Characteristics of Crashes Involving Injured Children in Side Impacts

TitleCharacteristics of Crashes Involving Injured Children in Side Impacts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsArbogast KB, Andersson M, Pipkorn B, Lovsund P
JournalInternational Journal of Crashworthiness
Start Page365
Date Published08/2011
KeywordsChild, crash test, Injury, restraint system, side impact, structure

The objective of this study was to define the crash characteristics of near-side impact crashes in which children seated in the rear rows are injured. The crash characteristics included the direction of force, heading angle, horizontal impact location, vertical impact location, extent of deformation and intrusion at the child occupant's seating position. Cases from in-depth crash investigation databases of the NASS-CDS (National Automotive Sampling System-Crashworthiness Data System), CIREN (Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network) and Chalmers University of Technology were reviewed. The principal direction of force was most frequently between 60° and 75°. The heading angle of the bullet vehicle was most commonly between 61° and 90°. The bullet vehicle hit the passenger compartment of the target vehicle, particularly the rear door. Often, one or both of the adjacent pillars to the rear door were involved, most commonly the B pillar. In 11 of 16 crashes, the car sill was not engaged. Most commonly, the deformation extent was into Zone 3 or more – about 40 cm – and the intrusion at the child's seating position was in the range 20–30 cm. This review of the crashes revealed differences between the current side impact test procedures and the actual side impact crashes in which children were injured.