Development of Cargo Area Occupant Restraint Systems
Small Business Information
P. O. BOX 362, Buffalo, NY, 14225
Michael J. Walsh
AbstractPassengers in the cargo area, cargo box, or bed, of a pickup truck are extremely vulnerable to death and injury caused, not only by crashes and sudden maneuvers, but often due to normal driving responses over off-road terrain. There are approximately 10,000 pickup trucks involved in fatal crashes each year accounting for over 5,000 deaths to occupants of the pickups, both in the cab and in the cargo area. Even more serious injuries, with enormous societal costs, are caused by accidents involving people carried in the cargo areas. There is an immediate need for an occupant protection system designed for use in the cargo area of pickup trucks. Only one state has a law prohibiting transporting people in the cargo area of a truck, 16 have laws that address the problem, and 33 have no such laws. The 1990 Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) states that registered light truck vehicles have increased by 89 percent and fatalities to occupants of light trucks have increased 77 percent since 1975. The development of after market occupant restraint systems utilizing state-of-the-art materials and proven harness system technology for use in the cargo area of pickup trucks is proposed. The ultimate purpose is to request funding to perform research, develop, test, and evaluate, toward bringing to market, 2 innovative systems for a solution to these problems.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.