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:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Reasons Parents Place Infants in the Front Seat - Fraser Group Study 6 79.5% 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.
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.
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
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.
Infants in Child Safety Seats by Location and Environment Infants in Child Safety Seats by Location and Environment “On-Road” - 19 City Study, 1990-1991 “In Crashes” – 1990-1991 NASS GES
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.
Benefits of Moving Rear Seat Infants to Front Seat Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Front Seat – 98 Base 291 15 II. Rear Seat – 98 Base 675 38 Reduction to Front Seat (33% X Row II) 223 13
Benefits of Moving Rear Seat Infants to Front Seat Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Moved to Front Seat 675 38 II. Adjust for Increase Risk Front (8.3% X Row I) 56 3 III. Reduction to Front Seat 223 13 Reduction (III - II) 167 9
Benefits for Other Occupants (Front Seat Only) Incapacitating Injuries Fatalities I. Front Seat – 98 Base 1347 87 Reduction Front Occupants (33% X Row I) 445 29
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.