Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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The Effects of Airbags on Severity Indices for Roadside Objects

Product Type

HSIS Summary Report


Forrest M. Council, J. Richard Stewart, and Yusuf M. Mohamedshah




This study estimated how the presence of an airbag may effect severity indices (SI's) for crashes with roadside objects. HSIS data from Illinois, North Carolina, and Utah were used in the analysis. In summary, airbags reduce the severity index by 10 to 30 percent for point objects, 40 to 50 percent for guardrails, and 10 to 20 percent for other longitudinal barriers.

Link To HSIS Summary Report

The Effects of Airbags on Severity Indices for Roadside Objects


Severity indices
Fixed objects
Crash severity

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HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

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Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

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Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

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Safety Analysis Tools

In addition to conducting research, HSIS resources are also used to develop products that can be used by practitioners in the analysis of safety problems.

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Other Projects

HSIS data are sometimes used in research studies that result in other types of finished products, such as dissertations, theses, and conference proceedings.

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