Principal Investigator: Rachel Myers, PhD, MS, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT?
Recommendations exist for children to ride in rear-facing CRS in motor vehicles. However, limited surveillance data is available regarding CRS orientation (rear-facing (RF) versus forward-facing (FF)) and injury outcomes among children in motor vehicle crashes (MVCs). Using the New Jersey Safety and Health Outcomes (NJ-SHO) Data Warehouse, we examined restraint use and injury outcomes among children ages 0-8.
This project was the first to use linked crash occupant data from the NJ-SHO, which provides a novel data source to examine questions regarding MVCs and injury. New Jersey recently updated its police crash report to include information on CRS orientation, providing detail that was historically absent from crash data. Further, the NJ-SHO contains hospital-reported injury data, permitting us to more rigorously examine injury outcomes.
WERE ANY OF THE RESULTS SURPRISING?
Despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, car sear manufacturers, and NJ’s 2015 mandate that children under age 2 utilize RF CRS, only 57% of crash-involved child occupants under age 2 were RF. When comparing children under age 2 in RF versus FF CRS, we observed similar proportions of children seeking post-crash hospital care. However, children in RF CRS were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with an injury than those restrained in a FF CRS. Our goal is to supplement these preliminary results with additional years of crash and hospital data to increase the number of child occupants in our study sample and further examine these findings.
WHAT ARE THE INDUSTRY IMPLICATIONS FOR THIS RESEARCH?
This project is our most recent effort to extend CChIPS’ longstanding commitment and expertise in developing a sustainable MVC occupant injury data source focused specifically on children. This is a valuable resource for industry partners interested in better understanding CRS use and injury mitigation efforts.
One advantage of the NJ-SHO is the ongoing commitment to obtain recent years of data, permitting us to examine a larger number of crash-involved child occupants and trends in CRS use and injury over time. We are also identifying new research questions related to crash and vehicle characteristics as they relate to injury outcomes for children, as well as other occupants and drivers.
Leah Lombardi, Drexel University
Allison Schmidt, Britax Child Safety Inc.; Quentin Walsh, Britax Child Safety Inc.; Emily Thomas, Consumer Reports; Fariba Famili, FCA US LLC; Suzanne Johansson, General Motors Holdings LLC; Mark LaPlante, Graco Children’s Products Inc.; Justin Robinson, Graco Children’s Products Inc.; Jerry Wang, Humanetics Innovative Solutions Inc.; Mladen Humer, Lear Corporation; Nick Rydberg, Minnesota HealthSolutions; Julie Kleinert, Technical Advisor; Uwe Meissner, Technical Advisor