Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-0879

Comparison of Vehicle Structural Integrity and Occupant Injury Potential in Full-frontal and Offset-frontal Crash Tests 2000-01-0879

The frontal crash standard in the USA specifies that the full front of a vehicle impact a rigid barrier. Subsequently, the European Union developed a frontal crash standard that requires 40 percent of the front of a vehicle to impact a deformable barrier. The present study conducted paired crashes of vehicles using the full-frontal barrier procedure and the 40 percent offset deformable barrier procedure. In part, the study was to examine the feasibility of adding an offset test procedure to the frontal crash standard in the USA.
Frontal-offset and full-frontal testing was conducted using both the mid-size (50th percentile male Hybrid III) and the small stature (5th percentile female Hybrid III) dummies. Five vehicle models were used in the testing: Dodge Neon, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Venture and Ford Contour. In the crash tests, all dummies were restrained with the available safety belt systems and frontal air bags.
Both dummy sizes often exceeded the allowable lower leg injury criteria both in the offset tests and the full-frontal tests. Lower leg injury occurrences in real world crashes, based on National Automotive Sampling System data, show that many lower leg injuries occur in both fullfrontal and offset type crashes. The results also showed that vehicles with a stiffer occupant cage did well in the offset test. In addition, the test data suggested that the small female dummy may be exposed to a high risk of neck injury if positioned close to the deploying air bag.


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