Injury Mitigating Benefits of an Inflatable Shoulder Belt for Seat Integrated Application 1999-01-0085
This study examines the added safety improvement effects of the Integrated (Belted) Structural Seat (ISS™) combined with an inflatable shoulder belt that inflates to form a cylindrical airbag during an automobile frontal crash. Although inflatable shoulder belts have been studied for many years with proven results, occupant impact response data and sled testing has been very limited to date when combining these two relatively new types of automotive safety systems.
Accident studies show that frontal collisions, are by far the crashes with the most serious consequences. In frontal collisions, the main lesions placed upon the occupants are thoracic, mainly high chest deceleration, head injuries which result from the high deceleration levels due to occupant’s contact with the vehicle interiors, and rib fractures resulting from the high seat belt contact forces. In order to improve this situation, it becomes important to ensure that the means used to restrain the automotive occupant (s) work as efficiently as possible early in the crash event to reduce the motion of the torso and head.
With this perspective, it becomes important to have an occupant restraint system which has the overall injury mitigating benefits of the conventional restraint systems, but at the same time eliminates certain other potential injury mechanisms. The seat integrated inflatable shoulder belt is one such self contained restraint system which has improved occupant protection capabilities.
HyGe™ sled tests were conducted to evaluate the injury mitigating benefits of the seat integrated inflatable shoulder belt restraint system. Sled tests were conducted for the three different sized Hybrid III dummies and using a 35 mph crash pulse. Detailed results of the sled tests are presented later in this paper, and the results are also compared with the published NCAP results for a mid-size production vehicle that has a similar vehicle crash pulse and a conventional 3-point seat belt and airbag system.