Significance of Rib Fractures from Blunt-Impact Non-Lethal Weapons

February, 2018
IDA document: D-8956
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Research Summary/Research Insights , Documents
Division: Science and Technology Division , Science, Systems and Sustainment Division
Allison King, Shelley Cazares, Michael Finnin, Jenny Holzer, and Corinne Kramer See more authors
Blunt-impact munitions are a type of non-lethal weapon (NLW) that law enforcement and military personnel around the world use primarily for crowd control. Although bluntimpact munitions are designed to induce pain or muscle spasm at the point of impact, they have the potential to cause more serious injury. IDA researchers ascertained the significance of possible rib injuries from blunt-force trauma to the human thoracic cage from rubber, plastic, or beanbag munitions that are developed as NLWs for the U.S. military. The purpose was to improve NLW developers’ ability to accurately quantify their weapons’ risk of causing a significant injury.