Arbogast KB, Kallan MJ, Durbin DR. Effectiveness of high back and backless belt-positioning booster seats in side impact crashes

The Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USA.
Annual proceedings / Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine 02/2005; 49:201-213.
Source: PubMed


Previous work quantified a 59% reduction in injury risk for children in belt positioning booster seats (BPB) compared to those restrained in seat belts using a sample of crashes of all directions of impact. Experimental sled tests have highlighted the potential for extreme occupant excursion out of the BPB in side impact crash conditions. Using data from a large child specific crash surveillance system, the present study built upon these previous studies and quantified the relative effectiveness of BPB as compared to seat belts in reducing the risk of injury among 4-8 year olds in side impact crashes. Children in BPB were at a 58% reduction in risk of injury than those in seat belts in side impact crashes. This result varied by booster seat type: those in high back BPB were at a 70% reduction in injury risk while those in backless BPB did not experience a statistically significant reduction in injury risk compared to those in seat belts. This differential performance of the two types of BPB provides direction for future research into the design and performance of these restraints.

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    • "Typical biomechanical evaluations (sled tests, full-scale crash tests, crash simulations) use surrogate occupants (dummies or computer models) seated in a position either defined by an industry standard, or by the average position observed in a laboratory posture study (e.g., Reed et al. 2005b, Reed et al. 2006). Limited studies, however, have sought to investigate the sensitivity of predicted child occupant responses (including injury risk) to changes in surrogate occupant posture (Arbogast et al. 2007, van Rooij et al. 2005). While in some cases out-of-position biomechanics studies should target artificially defined " worst case scenarios " , some studies may seek to target typically-occurring positions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding pediatric occupant postures can help researchers indentify injury risk factors, and provide information for prospective injury prediction. This study sought to observe lateral head positions and shoulder belt fit among older child automobile occupants during a scenario likely to result in sleeping - extended travel during the night. An observational, volunteer, in-transit study was performed with 30 pediatric rear-seat passengers, ages 7 to 14. Each was restrained by a three-point seatbelt and was driven for seventy-five minutes at night. Ten subjects used a high-back booster seat, ten used a low-back booster seat, and ten used none (based on the subject height and weight). The subjects were recorded with a low-light video camera, and one frame was analyzed per each minute of video. The high-back booster group exhibited a statistically significant (p<0.05) decrease in the mean frequency of poor shoulder belt fit compared to the no-booster and low-back booster groups. The high-back booster group also exhibited statistically significant decreases in the 90(th) percentile of the absolute value of the relative lateral motion of the head. The low-back booster group did not result in statistically significant decreases in poor shoulder belt fit or lateral head motion compared to the no-booster group. These results are consistent with the presence of large lateral supports of the high-back booster which provided support to the head while sleeping, reducing voluntary lateral occupant motion and improving shoulder belt fit. Future work includes examining lap belt fit in-transit, and examining the effects of these observations on predicted injury risk.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Annals of advances in automotive medicine
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