Principal Investigator: Aditya Belwadi, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
WHAT DOES THIS PROJECT STUDY?
Kids under the age of 13 are recommended to sit in the rear seat of a vehicle, but front seat occupant safety has significantly improved in recent years. In this pilot project we explored the responses and injury outcomes of a 6-year-old child seated in a high-back booster and forward-facing CRS in the front passenger seating position, with and without a passenger air bag (PAB).
HOW DID YOU CONDUCT THE SAFETY EVALUATIONS?
We used computational modeling to create full-vehicle and CRS models and used a combination of Q6 ATDs and human body models to simulate the occupant. This is one of the first projects in which we used a pediatric human body model called the PIPER model, which was developed specifically for injury prediction in crash tests.
WHAT WERE YOUR FINDINGS?
The way in which restraint systems and restraint design have changed was really interesting. We tested a forward-facing convertible CRS and a high-back booster and found that in both these conditions having a modern passenger air bag is more beneficial to the child than not having one in frontal impacts and frontal off-set impacts. However, these findings were very specific to the vehicle make, model, and crash conditions.
The next step is to actually do physical testing with ATDs and air bags and to also extend this to other age groups. I would love to explore what happens if a properly restrained 3-year-old, 4-year-old or 10-year-old is sitting in the front seat. I would also like to investigate several other crash modes.
Project Team Member
Kristy Arbogast, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Jalaj Maheshwari, University of Pennsylvania; Shreyas Sarfare, University of Pennsylvania
Keith Nagelski, Britax Child Safety, Inc.; Eric Dahle, Goodbaby International; Mark LaPlante, Graco Children’s Products Inc.; Hiromasa Tanji, TK Holdings Inc.; Schuyler St. Lawrence, Toyota USA; Julie Kleinert, Emeritus Chair; Uwe Meissner, Technical Advisor