NeuRA-Profile-2016 - page 21

Blueskies
challengingaccepted scientific
paradigms andopeningdoorways to
newfieldsof thinkingand study
While road traumahas reducedconsiderably, it remains
the leadingcauseofmorbidityandmortality forpeopleaged
15 to44years indevelopednations.
Currently, there isagap inunderstanding the sourcesand
mechanismsof injury to rear seat occupants. Ina recent
study,NeuRA researcherDrJulieBrownexamined the
patternof injuryand thecauses that resulted in rear seat
occupants sustaining injuries in frontal crashes.
She found that chest injurieswerecommonacross theage
groups, andonly thoseunder theageof 15alsoexperienced
head injuries. Thiswas typicallya result of collidingwith the
front seat. Peopleagedbetween 16and50most commonly
receivedabdominal injuriesand travellersover theageof
50 received fractures to the ribsor sternum. Seat beltswere
thecommoncauseof the injuries.
“It’s important to remember that seat beltsare incredibly
effective in reducing the riskof deathor injury inacar crash,
so those travelling in theback seat of acar should still
buckleup,” saysDrBrown.
The resultsof this studyhighlight theneed toprovide
appropriatebelt fit for thewide rangeof occupantswhouse
the rear seat, and tocontrol seat belt loads. Employing front
seat technologiesandnovel technologies, suchas inflatable
seat belts to reduceheadandchest injuries, would likely
reduce theburdenof injuryamong rear seat occupants.
“Possible improvementsalso include things like seat belt load
limiters tohelp reduce rib fractures,”DrBrownconcludes.
Seat belts are incrediblyeffective in reducing
risks ina car crash, so it isvital that those travelling
in theback seat still buckleup
ADULTHOOD—
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