The Influence of Occupant Anthropometry and Seat Position on Ejection Risk in a Rollover

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Traffic Injury Prevention


Purpose: During rollover crashes, ejection increases an occupant's risk of severe to fatal injury as compared to risks for those retained in the vehicle. The current study examined whether occupant anthropometry might influence ejection risk. Factors such as restraint use/disuse, seating position, vehicle type, and roll direction were also considered in the analysis.

Methods: The current study examined occupant ejections in 10 years of National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) single-event rollovers of passenger vehicles and light trucks. Statistical analysis of unweighted and weighted ejection data was carried out.

Results: No statistically significant differences in ejection rates were found based on occupant height, age, or body mass index. Drivers were ejected significantly more frequently than other occupants: 62 percent of unrestrained drivers were ejected vs. 51 percent unrestrained right front occupants. Second row unrestrained occupants were ejected at rates similar to right front–seated occupants. There were no significant differences in ejection rates for near- vs. far-side occupants.

Conclusions: These data suggest that assessment of ejection prevention systems using either a 50th or 5th percentile adult anthropomorphic test dummy (ATD) might provide a reasonable measure of system function for a broad range of occupants. They also support the development of ejection mitigation technologies that extend beyond the first row to protect occupants in rear seat positions. Future studies should consider potential interaction effects (i.e., occupant size and vehicle dimensions) and the influence of occupant size on ejection risk in non-single-event rollovers.



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Print ISSN: 1538-9588 Online ISSN: 1538-957X


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