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Inj Prev. 2006 Apr;12(2):83-6.

Passenger seating position and the risk of passenger death in traffic crashes: a matched cohort study.

Author information

1
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA. kaths@u.washington.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the association of passenger seating position with the risk of death for passengers in traffic crashes.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS:

Matched cohort analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System regarding 56 644 passengers in 23 308 passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles that crashed during 1990-2001.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The adjusted risk ratio (aRR) for death of a rear seat passenger compared with a front seat passenger within 30 days of a crash.

RESULTS:

The aRR for all passengers in the rear seat in a crash was 0.79 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.82). This estimate varied by age, restraint use, and the presence of a front passenger airbag (p<0.001). For restrained passengers in cars with a front passenger airbag, the aRR was 0.62 (95% CI 0.48 to 0.81) for children 0-12 years, 0.96 (95% CI 0.88 to 1.06) for passengers 13-29 years, 1.03 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.15) for passengers 30-59 years, and 1.06 (95% CI 0.90 to 1.26) for passengers 60 years or older. The rear seat was associated with more protection in cars without front airbags and more protection for unrestrained passengers compared with restrained passengers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Previous studies have reported that the rear seat was safer for persons of all ages; thus seating a young child in the rear has often meant that older children and adults had to assume an increased risk of death by sitting in the front. These results suggest that when front passenger airbags are present and passengers are restrained, putting adults in front and children in back enhances child safety without sacrificing adult safety.

PMID:
16595421
PMCID:
PMC2564455
DOI:
10.1136/ip.2005.010306
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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