Forensic Determination of Seat Belt Usage in Automotive Collisions: Development of a Diagnostic Tool 2006-01-1128
The primary purpose of this research was to generate a “linked set” of data between collision severity, occupant weight and collision-induced seat belt markings to assist in reconstruction of motor vehicle accidents. The secondary purpose was to establish a preliminary threshold of belt load to produce known collision-induced seat belt markings. Sled tests were performed utilizing Hybrid III 5th and 50th percentile crash test dummies. Sled accelerations ranged from 10.0 g to 23.6 g and Delta-V’s from 6.4 m/s to 11.3 m/s. Post-test inspections and photographs taken of the seat belts documented collision-induced markings on components such as the D-Ring, latch plate, webbing and stitching. Belt loads were analyzed to establish preliminary thresholds for the production of observable markings.