Seat Belt Investigation In Automobile Accidents

Olof H. Jacobson, M.S., P.E. (NAFE 308S) | Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E. (NAFE 496M)

Field investigation of seat belt condition after an accident is often intended to answer two fundamental questions:

(1) was the seat belt in use during the accident, and (2) did the seat belt function as intended by the designer? The authors present practical observations based on investigations of hundreds of collisions where use and performance of seat belts was of importance.

An approach is suggested to determine whether or not a seat belt was used, along with a discussion of some common problems found in seat belt investigations. References are presented on seat belt research and testing.

Published By

Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, June, 1995