Development of whiplash associated disorders for male and female car occupants in cars launched since the 80s in different impact directions
Paper in proceedings, 2013
The aim was to investigate the development of Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) leading to long-term consequences for drivers separated for gender in cars introduced at different year intervals and in different impact directions. An additional aim was to analyze the influence of various whiplash preventive concepts on WAD in rear impacts. The developments were studied for cars grouped into 5-year intervals according to year of introduction separated for frontal, side and rear-end impacts and for gender. All drivers (24,452) reporting WAD during the years 1998-2012, and those reporting symptoms > 1 month as well as those with permanent impairment, were included. Whiplash preventive concepts were grouped according to car make and concept. A reduction in risk of long-term consequences after reporting initial symptoms of WAD were found in rearend and side impacts comparing cars introduced on the market 1980-84 and 2005-2009. No reduction was found in frontal impacts. This clearly shows that more focus on preventive interventions for frontal impacts is needed. Existing seat concepts aimed at lowering the risk of WAD were found to reduce the risk of long-term consequences after reporting initial symptoms of WAD. However, seats with energy absorption in the seat back, passive seats or reactive seats are more effective for females than seats with Reactive Head Restraints, which showed no major reduction of WAD with long-term consequences compared with standard seats.