Research Papers

Real World Frontal Impacts Involving Infants and Toddlers

Filename 6B_3_Shkrum_Paper.pdf
Filesize 1 MB
Version 1
Date added June 28, 2017
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Category 2017 CARSP XXVII Toronto
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 6B
Author/Auteur Michael Shkrum, Kevin McClafferty, Allison Pellar, Douglas Fraser, Tanya Charyk-Stewart, Jean-Louis Comeau
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation
Slidedeck Presentation



The Western Motor Vehicle Safety (Western MOVES) Research Team is funded by Transport Canada's Motor Vehicle Safety Directorate to conduct motor vehicle safety research. The team is part of a national network of vehicle safety research teams that conducts a program of impartial, in-depth, investigations of motor vehicle collisions. Western MOVES in partnership with Transport Canada, Southwestern Collision Analysis and the London Health Sciences Trauma Program are conducting a study of real world collisions involving injured paediatric passengers. Real world collision data is needed to evaluate the performance of safety features and develop countermeasures that improve safety. This paper reports preliminary findings on the investigation of real world collisions involving children under 12 months age. Daily Level I Pediatric Trauma Centre (PTC) emergency and admission reports were reviewed to identify paediatric patients treated following a motor vehicle collision. The field investigation team was notified of collisions involving children in the rear seat. In-depth crash investigations were conducted on paediatric fatalities and all children admitted to the PTC as well as a sample of children that were not admitted. When full crash investigations were not conducted, data from police crash reports were collected and entered into an integrated crash-injury database. In-depth field investigations were conducted on 15 collisions involving 5 infant fatalities, 3 infants with major injuries, 4 infants with minor injuries and 3 uninjured infants. There were surviving vehicle occupants in all of the fatal collisions. Severe head injuries occurred in all of the fatal and major injury cases. Frontal impacts comprised 9 of the 15 collisions and involved 2 fatalities and 1 infant with major injuries. Side impacts comprised 5 of the collisions and involved 3 fatalities and 1 infant with major injuries. The other major injury case was the result of a severe rear impact where the infant likely contacted cargo that shifted in the collision. Thirteen of the 15 infants were restrained in rearward facing infant carriers. In one frontal impact a 12-month-old was seated in a forward-facing child restraint and sustained minor injuries. Ejection of an unrestrained infant occurred in 1 of the side impacts and resulted in major injuries. Infants that were properly restrained in rear-facing infant carriers usually sustained minor injuries or were uninjured in the moderate and severe frontal impacts. Interaction with unrestrained occupants or cargo occurred in both of the fatal frontal impacts as well as the major injury case. Head contact with the front seatback may also have played a role in these three frontal impacts. Intrusion was a factor in two of the three side impact fatalities. Contact with an unrestrained occupant was a major factor in the third side impact fatality. Rearward-facing infant carriers provided excellent protection in most collisions. Contact with unrestrained occupants or cargo was a probable factor in 3 of the 5 infant fatalities and 2 of the 3 infants with major injuries. Intrusion in near side impacts also played a major role in the cases of severe injury.

Michael Shkrum, Kevin McClafferty, Allison Pellar, Douglas Fraser, Tanya Charyk-Stewart, Jean-Louis Comeau