Title: Lower extremity injuries in motor vehicle collisions: a survey of NASS 1997-1999

Authors: Theresa Atkinson, Patrick Atkinson

Addresses: Injury Prevention and Analysis Consulting, LLC, 2344 Lake Ridge Dr., Grand Blanc, MI 48439, USA. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University, 1700 W. Third Ave., Flint, MI 48504, USA

Abstract: Lower extremity injury is common in front seated occupants of motor vehicles involved in collisions. The recent introduction of air bags, while intended to reduce injury to vital body regions, namely the head and chest, may influence the incidence of lower limb injury. The current study examined lower extremity injuries recorded in the National Automotive Sampling System in order to identify injury rates and trends. NASS data from 1995-1999 suggests drivers sustain a lower extremity injury in 35% of collisions. However, the rate of moderate-to-severe injury is low occurring in approximately 11% of front seat occupants. The most common site for moderate-to-serious injury was the foot/ankle. The thigh was most frequently the site of serious lower extremity injuries, with the majority of these injuries due to instrument panel contact. Air bag deployment does not appear to alter the risk of lower extremity injury, while seat belt use tends to slightly decrease the risk.

Keywords: impact; injury; leg; lower extremity; NASS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2003.003244

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2003 Vol.32 No.1/2, pp.173 - 183

Published online: 14 Dec 2003 *

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