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The frontal-impact response of a booster-seated child-size PMHS

F.J. López-Valdés, J.L. Forman, O. Bostrom, R. W. Kent

Traffic Injury Prevention Vol. 11, nº. 3, pp. 320 - 327



This article presents the response of a child-size postmortem human subject using a booster seat in a series of three frontal impact sled tests.


A 54-year-old female cadaver was seated in a booster seat in the rear seat of a buck representing a mid-sized American sedan. Two different restraint systems (conventional belt and pretensioning, force-limiting belt) were used to run three simulated frontal impacts (one at 29 km/h, two at 48 km/h). Instrumentation included accelerometers rigidly mounted on relevant body landmarks as well as chest bands. Trajectories were assessed through high-speed video cameras.


Specific focus was on the whole-body kinematics and resulting head trajectories under two different restraint conditions (booster seat and standard belt, booster seat and force-limiting pretensioning belt) in a rear seat environment. At 48 km/h, the pretensioning, force-limiting seat belt reduced the forward excursion of both the head (353 mm vs. 424 mm) and the h-point (120 mm vs. 152 mm) compared to the standard system. Maximum torso pitch was similar for both seat belts.


A complete description of the outcome of the tests is presented in the article. These results suggest that the introduction of a pretensioning force limiting belt in the rear seat can be beneficial for small size occupants like children using booster seats.

Keywords: Frontal impact, Child restraint systems, Kinematics, Restraint systems

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 1,401 (2010); 2,000 - Q3 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.1080/15389580903575793

Published on paper: June 2010.

Published on-line: June 2010.

F.J. López-Valdés, J.L. Forman, O. Bostrom, R. W. Kent, The frontal-impact response of a booster-seated child-size PMHS. Traffic Injury Prevention. Vol. 11, nº. 3, pp. 320 - 327, June 2010. [Online: June 2010]

    Research topics:
  • *Mechanical Systems: Structural mechanics, Machinery components, Fast prototyping, Metrology

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