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Using in-depth investigations to identify transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated occupants of motor vehicles.
Med Eng Phys. 2010 Apr; 32(3):237-47.ME

Abstract

In-depth investigations of motor-vehicle crashes involve detailed inspection, measurement, and photodocumentation of vehicle exterior and interior damage, evidence of belt-restraint use, and evidence of occupant contacts with the vehicle interior. Results of in-depth investigations thereby provide the most objective way to identify current and emerging injury problems and issues in occupant safety and crash protection, and provide important feedback on the real-world performance of the latest restraint-system and vehicle crashworthiness technologies. To provide an objective understanding of real-world transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated travelers, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has been conducting and assembling data from in-depth investigations of motor-vehicle crashes and non-crash adverse moving-vehicle incidents, such as emergency vehicle braking, turning, and swerving, in which there was at least one vehicle occupant sitting in a wheelchair. The results of 39 investigations involving 42 wheelchair-seated occupants have been assembled and entered into a wheelchair-occupant crash/injury database. In addition, a biomechanical analysis of each case has been performed to identify key safety issues for wheelchair-seated travelers. The wheelchairs of 34 of the 42 occupants who were seated in wheelchairs while traveling in motor vehicles were effectively secured by either a four-point, strap-type tiedown system or a docking securement device, and all but one of these properly secured wheelchairs remained in place during the crash or non-collision event. However, 30 of the 42 occupants were improperly restrained, either because of non-use or incomplete use of available belt restraints, or because the belt restraints were improperly positioned on the occupant's body. Twenty-six of the 42 occupants sustained significant injuries and 10 of these occupants died as a direct result of injuries sustained, or from complications resulting from those injuries. These findings, when combined with the analyses of the individual cases, point to a need for better driver and caregiver education and training on how to properly secure wheelchairs and position belt restraints on wheelchair-seated passengers. They also point to a need for improved restraint systems used by wheelchair-seated drivers, and a need for wheelchair designs that facilitate the proper use and positioning of vehicle-anchored belt restraints.

Authors+Show Affiliations

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), Biosciences Division, 2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. lws@umich.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Case Reports
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19800833

Citation

Schneider, Lawrence W., et al. "Using In-depth Investigations to Identify Transportation Safety Issues for Wheelchair-seated Occupants of Motor Vehicles." Medical Engineering & Physics, vol. 32, no. 3, 2010, pp. 237-47.
Schneider LW, Klinich KD, Moore JL, et al. Using in-depth investigations to identify transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated occupants of motor vehicles. Med Eng Phys. 2010;32(3):237-47.
Schneider, L. W., Klinich, K. D., Moore, J. L., & MacWilliams, J. B. (2010). Using in-depth investigations to identify transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated occupants of motor vehicles. Medical Engineering & Physics, 32(3), 237-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2009.09.001
Schneider LW, et al. Using In-depth Investigations to Identify Transportation Safety Issues for Wheelchair-seated Occupants of Motor Vehicles. Med Eng Phys. 2010;32(3):237-47. PubMed PMID: 19800833.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Using in-depth investigations to identify transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated occupants of motor vehicles. AU - Schneider,Lawrence W, AU - Klinich,Kathleen D, AU - Moore,Jamie L, AU - MacWilliams,Joel B, Y1 - 2009/10/02/ PY - 2009/07/21/received PY - 2009/09/01/revised PY - 2009/09/04/accepted PY - 2009/10/6/entrez PY - 2009/10/6/pubmed PY - 2010/11/16/medline SP - 237 EP - 47 JF - Medical engineering & physics JO - Med Eng Phys VL - 32 IS - 3 N2 - In-depth investigations of motor-vehicle crashes involve detailed inspection, measurement, and photodocumentation of vehicle exterior and interior damage, evidence of belt-restraint use, and evidence of occupant contacts with the vehicle interior. Results of in-depth investigations thereby provide the most objective way to identify current and emerging injury problems and issues in occupant safety and crash protection, and provide important feedback on the real-world performance of the latest restraint-system and vehicle crashworthiness technologies. To provide an objective understanding of real-world transportation safety issues for wheelchair-seated travelers, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has been conducting and assembling data from in-depth investigations of motor-vehicle crashes and non-crash adverse moving-vehicle incidents, such as emergency vehicle braking, turning, and swerving, in which there was at least one vehicle occupant sitting in a wheelchair. The results of 39 investigations involving 42 wheelchair-seated occupants have been assembled and entered into a wheelchair-occupant crash/injury database. In addition, a biomechanical analysis of each case has been performed to identify key safety issues for wheelchair-seated travelers. The wheelchairs of 34 of the 42 occupants who were seated in wheelchairs while traveling in motor vehicles were effectively secured by either a four-point, strap-type tiedown system or a docking securement device, and all but one of these properly secured wheelchairs remained in place during the crash or non-collision event. However, 30 of the 42 occupants were improperly restrained, either because of non-use or incomplete use of available belt restraints, or because the belt restraints were improperly positioned on the occupant's body. Twenty-six of the 42 occupants sustained significant injuries and 10 of these occupants died as a direct result of injuries sustained, or from complications resulting from those injuries. These findings, when combined with the analyses of the individual cases, point to a need for better driver and caregiver education and training on how to properly secure wheelchairs and position belt restraints on wheelchair-seated passengers. They also point to a need for improved restraint systems used by wheelchair-seated drivers, and a need for wheelchair designs that facilitate the proper use and positioning of vehicle-anchored belt restraints. SN - 1873-4030 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19800833/Using_in_depth_investigations_to_identify_transportation_safety_issues_for_wheelchair_seated_occupants_of_motor_vehicles_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1350-4533(09)00189-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -