Unfälle mit Airbag-Fahrzeugen. Performance, Verletzungen und Verletzungsursachen
1996, pp. 201 – 208 (#7/8)
This paper describes experience obtained from the analysis fo 119 real-life accidents with front airbag-equipped cars in Germany. The performance of the safety system »airbag« is analysed as well as the injury patterns of the drivers.
In comparison with belted drivers (without airbag) the belted and airbag-protected crash victims show a significant reduction in severe/fatal injuries, especially in car collisions with high intensity. In frontal car collisions with airbag deployment the injury severity MAIS 2+ to belted drivers was dominated by injuries to the extremities, especially to the feet, but not by injuries to the head or the thorax. Only in »disastrous cases« (EES > 60 kph) with high intrusion of the passenger compartment fatal injuries to the head and neck could be observed even with the airbag.
The airbag system has to be optimised in future and »intelligent airbag systems« are required. In about 40% of the accidents with passenger airbag deployment there was no passenger on the right front seat. This leads to additional repair cost; »intelligent airbag systems« must avoid such cases and have also to solve the conflict with rearward facing child seats. Furthermore, too early inflation of the airbag (EES about 10 kph) can lead to unnecessary injuries such as burns and abrasions. From this point of view, but also for reasons of costs, the firing threshold of airbags should be lifted to 25 to 30 kph.