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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Occupant Posture Influences Injury

Occupant Posture Influences Injury

In a recent article by Bose, Crandall, Untaroiu, and Maslen (2010), the authors looked at how occupant body stature and mass, seating posture and muscle bracing level influences injury outcome. The authors state, “While occupant stature affected the injury metrics applicable to the head and chest region, occupant mass primarily influenced the injury metrics applicable to the chest and the lower extremity region.” Bose et al.,2010, p.1403). The patient’s height and size relative to his/her position in the vehicle will influence the area of the body more often injured.

“While the risk of injuries to the upper body regions increased significantly for posture with upper body close to the steering column...the risk of lower extremity injuries reduced with the decrease in the excursion distance of the upper body” (Bose et al., 2010, p.1403). Patients that position themselves closer to the steering wheel will more likely suffer different injuries than those positioned further away.

The authors found, “Overall, the level of muscle bracing was shown to be a significant occupant parameter...and exhibited a positive correlation with respect to WBIM [whole body injury metric]” (Bose et al., 2010, p.1404). Whether the patient is braced for the impact can change the nature of the injuries sustained. “It could be reasonably concluded that compared to a representative range of occupant anthropometries [body stature and mass] in the driver population, the representative variation in the driver posture has a more significant effect on the injury outcome during a collision” (Bose et al., 2010, p.1405).

This study found that the occupant’s posture has the greatest influence over injury outcome.

Understanding how the occupant was seated during a crash is important in the evaluation and treatment of the traumatically injured. Knowing this will assist in forming an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan.


Spine & Injury Centers of San Antonio is a local network of 5 chiropractic offices. As a group, we are raising the standard of care for injured patients and their families.

If you have recently been in a car accident, or had a personal injury, sports injury, or exercise injury, and are experiencing back pain, neck pain, knee pain, whiplash, headaches, leg pain, etc, our San Antonio injury chiropractors can help!

Our goal is to get you back to living a pain-free life as quickly as possible.

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Bose, D., Crandall, J. R., Untaroiu, C. D., & Maslen, E. H. (2010). Influence of pre-collision occupant parameters on injury outcome in a frontal collision. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42(4),1398–1407.



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