Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-05-0188

Vehicular Padding and Head Injury 2000-05-0188

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 571.201 discusses occupant protection with interior impacts of vehicles. Recent rule making by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified padding for potential injury reduction in vehicles. Head injury mitigation with padding on vehicular roll bars was evaluated. After market 2 to 2.5 cm thick padding and metal air gap padding reduced the head injury criterion (HIC) and angular acceleration compared to the stock foam roll bar padding. Studies were conducted with free falling Hybrid 50% male head form drops on the fore head and side of the head. Compared to the stock roll bar material, a nearly 90% reduction in HIC was observed at speeds up to 5.4 m/s. A concomitant 83% reduction in angular acceleration was also observed with the metal air gap padding. A 2 to 2.5 cm thick Simpson roll bar padding produced a 70 to 75% reduction in HIC and a 59 to 73% reduction in angular acceleration. DYNAMAN analysis closely predicted the HIC and angular acceleration results. All HIC values with padding were below 560 for metal air gap padding and Simpson roll bar padding tests. The studies demonstrate that padding can markedly reduce the potential for head injury based on a substantial reduction in HIC and angular acceleration when impacts occurred on a padded surface.


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