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Injury Patterns Sustained in Fatal Motor Vehicle Collisions with Driver's Third‐Generation Airbag Deployment

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The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario database for 2011–2012 was used to compare fatal injury patterns in drivers whose third‐generation airbags deployed compared to first‐ and second‐generation airbag deployments and airbag nondeployments with and without seatbelt use. There were 110 frontal and offset frontal crashes analyzed. The small sample size meant that the odds of craniocerebral, cervical spinal, thoracic, and abdominal injuries were not statistically different for airbag generation, deployment status, and seatbelt use; however, the risk of fatal thoracic injuries in third‐ and second‐generation cases was increased. Seatbelt usage in third‐ and second‐generation deployment cases reduced the risk of all injuries except abdominal trauma. High severity impacts and occupant compartment intrusion were frequently observed. The analyses in this retrospective study were challenged by data that were not collated in a standardized way and were limited in details about scene, vehicle, and driver variables.
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Keywords: airbags; drivers; fatalities; forensic pathology; forensic science; injury patterns

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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