NHTSA Reports on Increasing Injury Vulnerability of Crash Victims as We Age
May 22, 2013
Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
NHTSA has put one of its finest statisticians to create a very detailed major report on the effects of aging and gender on fatality and injury risk of vehicle occupants in crashes. NHTSA is now seeking public comment with the following notice. In a nutshell as we age we become more vulnerable to crash forces.
Injury Vulnerability and Effectiveness of Occupant Protection Technologies for Older Occupants and Women (DOT HS 811 766):
This report quantifies the effects of aging and gender on fatality and injury risk of vehicle occupants, based on statistical analyses of crash data. Fatality risk, given similar crashes, increases by about 3 percent per year that people get older, starting around age 21. Risk is, on average, 17 percent higher for a female than for a male of the same age, but the added risk for females has substantially diminished in recent vehicles. Older people are susceptible to thoracic injuries, especially multiple rib fractures. Women are susceptible to neck and abdominal injuries and, at lower severity levels, arm and leg fractures. All of the major occupant protection technologies in vehicles of recent model years have at least some benefit for adults of all age groups and of either gender; none of them are harmful for a particular age group or gender.
You may view the Federal Register notice in PDF format at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-28/pdf/2013-12520.pdf or in text format at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-28/html/2013-12520.htm. Comments are due on September 25, 2013 and should be sent to Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0072. The notice explains how to send comments.
If you have any questions about this report, please feel free to contact the author and Chief of the Evaluation Division, Charles J. Kahane, Ph.D., 202-366-2560, email@example.com.
In a nutshell as we age we become more vulnerable to crash forces.
In a paper I co authored in 2005 published by NHTSA I tried to address how we could use occupant age in URGENCY software to expedite appropriate emergency medical care. See www.careforcrashvictims.com click on URGENCY.
One more comment as I skimmed this Report is I wish NHTSA would not refer to potentially fatal crash forces as “insults”.
See p. 43
TABLE 2FATALITY RISK, GIVEN SIMILAR PHYSICAL INSULTS, RELATIVE TO A 21 YEAR OLD OCCUPANT OF THE SAME GENDER IN THE SAME SEAT POSITION DRIVERS AND RF PASSENGERS, ALL CARS AND LTVs, BY OCCUPANT AGE Hopefully the next NHTSA Report will address potential remedies for all crash victims who are aging every year — and not use the word “insults” for injurious crash forces.