Challenges in Frontal Crash Protection of Pregnant Drivers Based on Anthropometric Considerations 1999-01-0711
Pregnant occupants pose a particular challenge to safety engineers because of their different anthropometry and the additional “occupant within the occupant.” A detailed study of the anthropometry and seated posture of twentytwo pregnant drivers over the course of their pregnancies was conducted. Subjects were tested in an adjustable seating buck that could be configured to different vehicle package geometries with varying belt anchorage locations. Each subject was tested four times over the course of her pregnancy to examine changes in seat positioning, seated anthropometry, and positioning of the lap and shoulder belts with gestational age. Data collected include preferred seating positions of pregnant drivers, proximity of the pregnant occupant to the steering wheel and airbag module, contours of the subjects’ torsos and abdomens relative to seat-belt centerline contours, and subject perceptions of their seated posture and proximity to vehicle components. Observations regarding the pregnant abdomen size, shape, and proximity to the steering-wheel rim and restraints as functions of gestational age and maternal stature and weight are presented.