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Effect of vehicle type on the performance of second generation air bags for child occupants.

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The Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Passenger air bags experienced considerable design modification in the late 1990s, principally to mitigate risks to child passengers. This study utilized Data from the Partners for Child Passenger Safety study, a large-scale child-focused crash surveillance system, to examine the effect of vehicle type on the differential performance of first and second generation air bags on injuries to restrained children in frontal impact crashes. Our results show that the benefit of second-generation air bags was seen in passenger cars - those children exposed to second-generation air bags were half as likely to sustain a serious injury - and minivans. However, in SUVs the data suggest no reduction in injury risk with the new designs. This field data provides crucial real-world experience to the automotive industry as they work towards the next generation of air bag designs.

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