Front passenger airbag benefits for restrained forward‐facing children
Journal article, 2016

This study investigates whether the front passenger airbag disabling strategy, developed based on first‐generation airbags, is valid for modern airbag designs and restrained forward‐facing children from three‐year‐old (3YO) size. In total, 19 different frontal impact situations were evaluated, comparing with and without airbag activation, using one vehicle model. Restrained child crash test dummies (3YO, 6YO, 10YO), of varied seat positions, booster types, crash pulses and sitting postures (up‐right and forward leaning), were tested in sled tests representative of a modern airbag and seatbelt technology. In addition, some typical misuse cases were evaluated. To different extents, all 19 situations tested demonstrated relative positive, or comparable, effect for activated airbag compared to no airbag. The influence of the airbag was relatively more pronounced in the more forward seat adjustment positions. In the misuse situations, it was clearly more robust using the airbag to help protect the child. Based on the results, Volvo Cars is revising its recommendations for restrained forward facing children travelling in car models with front passenger airbag designs as tested in this study. For these specific car models it is revised to recommend that the airbag should be Enabled for all forward‐facing restrained child occupants (as for adults), while kept Disabled for all rearward‐facing children.



child airbag interaction

Airbag disabling strategies

child front‐seat occupant


Fredrik Heurlin

Lotta Jakobsson

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Safety

H. Nilsson

IRCOBI Conf Proc - International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury, Sept, Malaga, Spain (IRC-16-43)

2235-3151 (ISSN)

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering

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