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CASE REPORT
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 587-590

Seatbelt submarining injury and its prevention countermeasures: How a cantilever seat pan structure exacerbate submarining


Director, Thorbole Simulation Technologies LLC, Rogers, Arkansas 72758, USA

Correspondence Address:
Chandrashekhar K Thorbole
Thorbole Simulation Technologies LLC, Rogers, Arkansas 72758
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.174299

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The purpose of this study and a case report was to demonstrate seat belt webbing induced injury due to seatbelt submarining during the frontal motor vehicle crash. Submarining is an undesired phenomenon during a frontal crash scenario and is dependent on design features of the seat pan and seatbelt system. The lack of adequate anti-submarining features at any seating position with three-point restraint can cause abdominal solid and hollow organ injuries. This paper reports a case of submarining and factors that exacerbated this phenomenon leading to critical occupant abdominal injury. This case report and the following injury causation analysis demonstrate the shortcomings of a cantilever seat pan design in context to the occupant safety. The inadequate seat pan anti-submarining feature in association with lack of seatbelt load-limiter and Pretensioner reduces the level of occupant protection offered by the seat belt system in the rear seat. This case report shows the dangers of cantilever seat pan design and its association with increased risk of submarining causing severe abdominal injuries.


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