Improving Rollover Crashworthiness Through Inverted Drop Testing 2001-01-3213
Inverted drop testing of vehicles is a methodology that has long been used by the automotive industry and researchers to test roof integrity. In our laboratory, the inverted drop test methodology was employed on late model production vehicles to simulate the damage incurred by a real world rollover accident. The extent and shape of residual damage matched well with the corresponding accident damage. Modified vehicles were reinforced based upon previously documented techniques. Incorporation of these techniques demonstrated a significant increase in roof strength and corresponding reduction in roof crush with minor weight addition. Finally, a production vehicle and structurally enhanced vehicle were drop tested with instrumented Hybrid-III occupants. This pair of tests confirms that reduction of roof intrusion and increased headroom can significantly enhance occupant protection. It also highlights the need to maintain adequate survival space for the vehicle’s occupants.