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Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident- Causing Distractions Dan Goor - XSCI, Inc. Sheldon.

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Presentation on theme: "Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident- Causing Distractions Dan Goor - XSCI, Inc. Sheldon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Air Bags and Infants - The Need for Placing Rear-Facing Infants in the Back Seat Brings About Accident- Causing Distractions Dan Goor - XSCI, Inc. Sheldon Lee Stucki - SEIS, Inc. March 5, 2001

2 Current Air Bag Crash Environment 6 Overall, air bags are effective in saving lives. As of 4/1/2000 about 5,000 lives (NHTSA) 6 Certain occupants may be “at risk” when too close to deploying air bag 6 Recent air bags with de-powering, dual stage inflation, etc., have reduced the problem

3 Occupants Most “At Risk” from Air Bags 6 Small drivers with seat positioned near air bag module. 6 Unbelted child passengers sitting near the air bag and/or with pre-crash events. 6 Infants in rear-facing CSS’s placed near or against the air bag, due to configuration.

4 Air Bags and Infants in Rear-Facing Child Seats (RFCSS) 6 18 infants in RFCSS’s killed by air bags, projected 15 killed annually with 98 fleet. 6 Even “low” inflation air bags may be hazardous to infants in RFCSS’s 6 Back seat safest but parents still place infants in front seat with air bags despite warnings.

5 Reasons Parents Place Infants in the Front Seat - Fraser Group Study 6 59% felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat are very distracting and 31% somewhat distracting. 6 69% felt that it was much easier to care for infants in RFCSS’s in the front seat and 25% somewhat easier.

6 Reasons Parents Place Infants in the Front Seat - Fraser Group Study % felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat could be distracting enough to cause crashes. 6 83% felt that infants in RFCSS’s in the front seat are less apt to cause accidents than infants in RFCSS’s in the back seat.

7 Development of an “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS 6 Current RFCSS’s unable to withstand air bag deployment forces and protect infant. 6 New design incorporates structural rigidity, energy absorption & geometry improvements to withstand forces of air bag deployment and protect the infant.

8 Benefits of Using “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS in Front Seat 6 Reduce/eliminate fatalities from deploying air bags. 6 Reduce crashes/injuries/fatalities by removing rear seat distractions. 6 Provide further protection to infants in all crashes

9 Estimate Benefits of Using “Air Bag Safe” RFCSS in Front Seat 6 Estimate % crashes caused by distraction to driver by infants in RFCSS’s in rear seat. 6 Estimate current injuries/fatalities reduced by moving infants to front seat. 6 Adjust injury/fatality savings by applying higher risk for moving to front seat.

10 Infants in Child Safety Seats by Location and Environment Infants in Child Safety Seats by Location and Environment “On-Road” - 19 City Study, “In Crashes” – NASS GES

11 Benefits of Removing Rear Seat Distractions 6 Crash involvement rate per on road vehicle 33 % lower for infants in the front seat compared to rear seat. 6 Assume that injuries and fatalities are reduced by the same 33 % if infants are in front seat.

12 Benefits of Moving Rear Seat Infants to Front Seat Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Front Seat – 98 Base II. Rear Seat – 98 Base Reduction to Front Seat (33% X Row II)

13 Benefits of Moving Rear Seat Infants to Front Seat Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Moved to Front Seat II. Adjust for Increase Risk Front (8.3% X Row I) 56 3 III. Reduction to Front Seat Reduction (III - II) 167 9

14 Benefits for Other Occupants (Front Seat Only) Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Front Seat – 98 Base Reduction Front Occupants (33% X Row I)

15 Conclusions 8 Infants in RFCSS’s are still “at risk” from air bag deployment. 6 A new design for a RFCSS will provide protection with air bag deployment. 6 Moving infants to the front seat may reduce crashes by 33 % by removing distractions.


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