How does sitting position relate to injury and fatality?
Drivers, due to the presence of the steering system and foot pedals as well as higher likelihood of being involved in an offset frontal crash causing intrusion on the driver’s side, will have a higher risk of injury than the passengers and often have injury patterns not seen in passengers. The driver and front passengers, because of their proximity to front interior structures, will have higher risk of injury than occupants who sit in the rear seats of a vehicle. However, there are unique circumstances, such as rear-end impacts involving small passenger cars, having close proximity of the occupant’s heads close to the rear window that when struck by a taller light truck vehicle, may incur more serious injury than front seat occupants. Figure 15-1 illustrates the seating position conclusions from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Minor and moderate injuries include the AIS 1 and AIS 2 categories.