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Seat-belts and air-bags not safe enough

Monday June 7th, 2010

Seat-belts and air-bags in cars save lives - but also injure hundreds of drivers, a British accident specialist has warned.

The safety of car safety devices needs to be improved, trauma surgeon Mark Chong told a conference of orthopaedic surgeons in Madrid, Spain.

Mr Chong, of the University Hospital of North Durham, UK, reported on an analysis of car accident injuries in the USA.

The study found that all collar-bone injuries were caused by seat belts. In the analysis of 450 injuries there were 21 of these fractures.

More than 100 injuries were fractures of the lower arm - and a fifth of these were caused by air-bags, the study found.

Mr Chong called for new types of restraints to be developed.

He said: "Of course modern restraint systems have, as a whole, made an enormous contribution to the reduction in traffic fatalities. But they also have precipitated serious injuries that until now were hardly noticed."

"The remainder of the fractures not directly caused by the security devices were nevertheless not prevented by them."

"All of this is especially disturbing because accident victims with fractures face an essentially higher mortality risk than those just suffering from soft tissue injuries."

Tags: A&E | Orthopaedics | UK News

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