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Original Research

Open Access

Effect of seat belt use and airbags deployment on mortality in patients with road traffic injury

  • Jong Hee Kim1
  • Gwan Jin Park1,*,
  • Young Min Kim1
  • Hyun Seok Chai1
  • Sang Chul Kim1
  • Hoon Kim1
  • Suk Woo Lee1

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungbuk National University Hospital, 28646 Cheongju, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2024.072 Vol.20,Issue 6,June 2024 pp.58-66

Submitted: 20 November 2023 Accepted: 16 January 2024

Published: 08 June 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Gwan Jin Park E-mail:


Seatbelts and airbags are safety devices designed to prevent road traffic injuries (RTI). They reduce fatal outcomes in patients with RTI; however, studies comparing the preventive effectiveness of these devices are limited. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of these devices in reducing mortality of patients with RTI. This retrospective cohort study was conducted using the Emergency Department-based Injury In-depth Surveillance (EDIIS) registry between January 2011 and December 2020. All patients who sustained RTI in vehicles with <10 seats were eligible. The target population was categorized into four groups: seat belt use and airbag deployment, seatbelt use-only, airbag deployment-only and non-use. The primary and secondary outcomes were in-hospital mortality and intracranial injury. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) of safety device use for related outcomes were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Among the 82,262 patients, 13,929 (16.9%) were classified into the seat belt use and airbag deployment group; 47,123 (57.4%), seat belt use-only; 1820 (2.2%), airbag deployment-only; and, 19,300 (23.5%), non-use group. Compared to the seat belt use-only group, the AORs (95% CIs) for in-hospital mortality and intracranial injury were 1.70 (1.31–2.19) and 1.29 (1.13–1.47) in the seat belt use and airbags deployment group and 10.24 (7.49–13.99) and 3.00 (2.42–3.72) in the airbags deployment-only group, respectively. Seat belt use had significant preventive effects on in-hospital mortality and intracranial injury. Airbag deployment individually had no additional protective effect on clinical outcomes.


Accidents; Traffic; Seat belts; Air bags; Treatment outcome; Mortality; Brain injuries

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Jong Hee Kim,Gwan Jin Park,Young Min Kim,Hyun Seok Chai,Sang Chul Kim,Hoon Kim,Suk Woo Lee. Effect of seat belt use and airbags deployment on mortality in patients with road traffic injury. SignaVitae. 2024. 20(6);58-66.


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