Protective effect of rear-seat restraints during car collisions

Lancet. 1989 Feb 18;1(8634):369-71. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)91735-2.


The nature of injuries to 2684 car occupants involved in 1055 car accidents were analysed. Less than 1% front-seat occupants were children, compared with 25% of rear-seat passengers. Nearly all (97%) rear-seat passengers were unrestrained. Type of impact was generally similar for front-seat as for back-seat occupants, except for rollover impacts, which were commoner among rear-seat passengers. Injury severity distribution was similar for front-seat as for rear-seat occupants. Except for minor-to-moderate neck injuries, which were the result of deceleration, most injuries to rear-seat passengers were due to contact with the front seat, with glazing materials, or with other parts of the car. The use of car restraints by rear-seat passengers should reduce the incidence and severity of injuries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Equipment*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Seat Belts*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*