Kinematics and shoulder belt position of child rear seat passengers during vehicle maneuvers
Journal article, 2011
Head impact to the seat back has been identified as one important injury causation scenario for seat belt restrained, head-injured children and previous research highlighted vehicle maneuvers prior to impact as possible contributing factors. The aim was to quantify kinematics of child occupants during swerving maneuvers focusing on the child’s lateral movement and seat belt position relative to the child’s shoulder. A study was conducted on a closed-circuit test track with 16 children aged 4-12, restrained in the rear seat of a modern passenger vehicle. A professional driving instructor drove at 50 km/h making sharp turns in a repeatable fashion, resulting in inboard motion of the children. The children were exposed to two turns in each of two restraint systems. Shorter children were on a booster or highback booster cushion. The taller children were seated on a booster cushion or with only a lap and shoulder seat belt. Four film cameras were fixed in the vehicle monitoring the child. Vehicle data were also collected. The seat belt slipped off the shoulder in 1 of 5 turns, varying by age and restraint type. Among shorter children, the belt slipped off in a majority of turns when seated on a booster cushion while the belt remained on the shoulder when seated on the highback booster cushion. Among taller children, the shoulder belt moved far laterally on the shoulder in half of the turns. This data provides valuable knowledge on possible pre-impact postures of children as a result of vehicle swerving maneuvers for a variety of restraint systems.
Child restraint systems
Injury risk prediction