Vehicle occupant restraint systems impact on eye injuries: A review

Tahra AlMahmoud, Peter Barss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Vehicle occupant trauma to the eyes and associated facial structures has evolved rapidly in conjunction with safety-oriented vehicle design, including restraint systems. Trends vary worldwide with culture, personal factors, vehicle safety equipment, and the traffic environment-including physical, legislative, and enforcement. Wearing safety belts is essential to occupant protection. Airbags were designed as a supplement to protect the head from hard surfaces in frontal crashes, not as a primary countermeasure. Even where vehicle fleets are new with high airbag prevalence, but safety culture and knowledge of restraints is less than robust, injury attributable to not wearing seatbelts is frequent, especially in countries where high-powered vehicles are prevalent. Upper bodies of rapidly forward-moving unrestrained occupants collide with rearward-accelerating airbags. Airbag deployment produces injuries such as corneal abrasions, alkali burns, and the effects of globe compression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-344
Number of pages11
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Airbags
  • Eye injury
  • Safety belts
  • Vehicle restraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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