Head Injury Prevention and Future Design Trends in the Automobile Industry

Richard M. Ziernicki, PhD, PE | Olof Jacobson, P.E.


The most common type of injury seen in motor vehicle accidents is head trauma.

The head is the most frequently injured body region for vehicle occupants restrained by three point seat belts. Belted and non-belted drivers and front seat passengers often impact windshields, dashboards, or steering columns with their face, resulting in approximately 45 percent of facial fractures and facial lacerations.

The importance of head injury is due to the impairments and disabilities associated with cognitive and functional damage to the brain, paraplegia and quadriplegia resulting from traumatic spinal cord injury, and the disfiguring consequences of facial damage.

Over 200,000 U.S.A. hospital admissions occur annually as a result of traumatic brain injuries. Annually, there are over 34,000 deaths and over 27,000 permanent disabilities as a result of motor-vehicle related accidents.

Published By


Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, June, 1996
1996