Contribution of locally designed and fabricated vehicle-seats to accident injuries

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Buses and minibuses account for a large number of reported Road Traffic Accidents in Ghana. Most of these vehicles are used goods transport vans, modified for passenger transportation purposes. One of such modifications is the provision of seats. These seats are designed and fabricated locally by artisans, but not according to any known accepted safety standards. This among other reasons has resulted in a hypothesis among medical personnel that, the design of these seats are also responsible for some of the injuries sustained in accidents. This research sought to support this hypothesis with the results of a computer simulation. The simulation results were compared with data obtained from a Mini Survey, which was conducted between November 2011 and January 2012, at the Accident and Emergency Centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Findings include injuries that are mostly sustained by occupants of accident vehicles fitted with the seats in question, as well as design features of the seats, which are most likely to cause these injuries. Based on these findings, recommendations on safer design features for the seats and future researches were made. Some information on the seats in question, which was unavailable in literature as at the time of conducting the research, was also reported.  
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering