Seat Belt Misuse

Background

The driver of a vehicle claimed that he was wearing his seat belt at the time of a collision. Although the “black box” download from his vehicle supported this claim, the driver’s injury pattern was inconsistent with proper seat belt use.

Process

Explico was retained to investigate whether or not the driver was wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision. Explico inspected the subject vehicle, and carefully documented the physical evidence on the driver's restraint system. Using an undamaged exemplar vehicle and surrogate occupant that was the same height and weight as the driver, various combinations of restraint system geometry and occupant positioning were considered.

Results

Careful consideration of restraint system physical evidence revealed that the driver was sitting on top of his buckled seat belt and the time of the collision.

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