Curb Impacts - A Continuing Study In Energy Loss and Occupant Kinematics 2002-01-0557
Accident reconstruction analysis of both pre- and post-impact vehicle trajectory wherein an involved vehicle has collided with or traversed a roadside curb often leaves the analyst with uncertainty associated with the speed loss and accelerations attributable to these impacts. A review of available published data reveals very few studies considering the energy dissipated and transferred to the vehicle's occupants. This paper quantifies the changes in vehicle velocity (delta-v) for various vehicles traversing a typical roadside curb at various approach angles and impact speeds. Vehicle accelerations are recorded in the vertical, longitudinal, and lateral directions. Resulting three-point belted driver movements are observed via an interior mounted video camera and general occupant motions are described. Curb impacts were conducted with four different passenger vehicles ranging in size from a small compact car to a large full-size sport utility vehicle. Additionally, residual vehicle damage is discussed as a function of impact speed and angle.