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Top Safety Ratings for
Saab Active Head Restraints
All Saab 9-3 and 9-5 models
have now achieved top marks for protection against neck injury
following the latest round of rear-end collision tests conducted
by the Thatcham insurance research center in the United Kingdom.
All are fitted as standard with Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR).
The Thatcham test classifies
the performance of a car's front seats and head restraints in
offering neck injury protection as 'Poor', 'Marginal',
'Acceptable' or 'Good'. The Saab 9-3 Convertible, 9-3 SportCombi
and 9-5 models have now been awarded the best-possible 'Good'
rating, as achieved last year by the 9-3 Sport Sedan in the first
round of tests.
A static evaluation of seat
design is carried out first, where the position of the head
restraint relative to an occupant's head is measured on a crash
test dummy representing a mid-sized, male adult. A dynamic test
is then performed with the seated dummy mounted on a sled, which
is accelerated to 16 kph ( 10 mph ) in 0.1 seconds to simulate
the effect of a typical low speed rear-end collision.
Announcing the results,
Thatcham Crash Research Manager Matthew Avery said: "Saab
has been a benchmark for designing seats to help prevent whiplash
injury. Real world data from insurance claims shows that the Saab
9-3 with active head restraints has produced a 42 per cent
reduction in whiplash injuries, compared to the previous model
which did not have them.
"The 'best practice'
approach from Saab was a fundamental part of the International
Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group's test procedure and it
encourages all manufacturers to fit similar systems."
The SAHR has been developed
to reduce relative movement between the head and lower back. The
restraint is mounted at the top of a frame, inside the seat-back,
which is designed to pivot at its mid point.
In a rear-end impact, the
occupants lower back is forced rearwards by inertia against
the bottom portion of the seat-back. A mechanical linkage in the
frame then forces the upper half, carrying the head restraint,
upwards and forwards to catch the occupants head and help
minimize the amount of whiplash movement. After activation, the
SAHR immediately returns to its passive position, ready for
collisions are seldom life-threatening, they are a common type of
accident which can cause long-term injury and discomfort,"
says Per Lenhoff, head of crash safety at Saab Automobile. "The
Thatcham results are in line with our own research and the
findings of similar organisations in other countries, such as the
US and Germany. They all confirm the value of our pioneering work
in developing the SAHR"
Further information about
the Thatcham tests and a full list of results is available at: www.thatcham.org
Saab is a division of
General Motors Corp. Saab USA is the importer and distributor of
Saab 9-2X, 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X automobiles for Saab Automobile AB,
Sweden. For more information, please visit www.saabusa.com.