Study: Side air bags can prevent ejections

Side curtain airbags in vehicles offer significant protection from partial ejections during certain types of car crashes, according to a press release from the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington.

The study, “Severe soft tissue injuries of the upper extremity in motor vehicle crashes involving partial ejection: The protective role of side curtain airbags,” published in Accident Analysis and Prevention found passengers without side airbags ha a 15-fold greater risk for being partially ejected from a side window in a nearside lateral-force crash.

“We had no one at all being partially ejected when the side curtain air bags went off when we focused the analysis on direct lateral near side impacts,” Robert Kaufman, BS, lead author and researcher from the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, said in release.

esearchers examined 24 million cases of vehicle collisionsgathered from 20 years of investigations and research data. n 51,000 cases of near-side crashes in which the side airbag deployed, no occupants sustained a severe soft-tissue injury in the upper extremities. In cases no airbag was available or it failed to deploy, more than 100 such injuries were reported.

esearchers also examined the effects of side airbags on upper arm injuries in vehicle crashes.

“We went a step further to see if the side curtain air bag would eliminate these devastating upper extremity injuries, and it did,” Kaufman said in release.

According to the researchers, the treatment of such serious injuries can involve lengthy hospital stays, extensive skin grafts or amputations.


Kaufman R, et al. Accid Anal Prev. 2017;doi:10.1016/j.aap.2017.02.027.

: The researchers report funding from the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.