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Rear-impact neck protection devices for adult wheelchair users

Ciaran K. Simms, PhD, et al.

Figure. Test setup for no head restraint including mechanical stop to prevent excessive hyperextension of neck. Coordinate system for analysis is also shown.

Many wheelchair users remain in their wheelchairs during transport in adapted passenger cars or minivans. They therefore do not benefit from some safety features available to motor vehicle seat occupants. The wheelchair and user are secured within the vehicle with wheelchair tie-downs and a seat belt system. Head restraints are often also fitted to protect the neck in a rear-end collision, but their effectiveness needs further evaluation. This article presents results of nine rear-impact sled tests of a crash dummy representing an occupant seated in a wheelchair with and without a head restraint. Two head restraint designs were tested: one was a new prototype and the other was commercially available from Rolko location. Both head restraints effectively protected the head, but the Rolko is lighter and easier to use.

Volume 46 Number 4, 2009
   Pages 499 — 514

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