Occupant Mechanics in Rollover Simulations of High and Low Aspect Ratio Vehicles 2006-01-0451
Vehicle aspect ratio has been reported as a significant factor influencing the likelihood of fatality or severe injury/fatality during single-vehicle rollover crashes. To investigate this, dynamic simulations of friction-induced rollover accidents were performed using different roof heights, but otherwise identical vehicle parameters and initial conditions. Higher aspect ratios tended to cause the leading side roof to impact first, with significant impact force. The roof impact forces during the first roll of higher-roofed vehicles were primarily laterally directed with respect to the vehicle. Impact locations during subsequent rolls were less predictable. Lower aspect ratios produced higher impact forces on the trailing side roof that were more vertically oriented with respect to the vehicle. The vertically oriented forces potentially create greater risk for severe neck or head injuries.