Analysis of Rollover Injuries for 125 Occupants at a Single Trauma Center With Special Focus on Head and Neck Injury

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

SAE International

Conference Name

SAE 2004 World Congress & Exhibition


Analysis of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) data reveals that vehicle rollover accidents account for a relatively a small number of accidents, but the associated frequency of serious injury is high compared to frontal or side impact. These data demonstrate the apparently elevated probability of head and neck injury during rollover, with head injury occurring more frequently, injured 4.5 times more frequently than the neck when considering all injuries. Automotive industry researchers have performed numerous rollover tests with instrumented ATD's and have predicted an elevated probability of neck injury with little chance of head injury. This contradicts field data (NASS-CDS) which suggests a high frequency of head injury with little chance of neck injury. This difference may be explained in part, through the different volumes of data presented in the literature. For example, while government accident statistics represent a sample of all accidents (∼ 5000 cases per year) occurring within the United States, individual car crash experimental reproductions represent a small proportion of car crashes. As such, it would be helpful to analyze 100% of cases from a given region(s) to aid in our understanding of rollover injuries. The objective of the current study was to thoroughly analyze 125 cases collected from a trauma one hospital to elucidate the head and the neck injury profile for rollover victims. The resulting data demonstrate the prevalence of head injury supporting the government accident data thus suggesting reconsideration of either current rollover accident experimental protocols or the biofidelity of the dummy in rollover. It should be noted, however, that removing relatively minor head and neck injuries (AIS 1 and 2) from the analysis shows that there is very little difference in the frequency of head and neck injury.


DOI: 10.4271/2004-01-0321

ISSN: 0148-7191

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© 2004 SAE International