Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-1157
2007-04-16

Effectiveness of Side-Airbags for Front Struckside Belted Car Occupants in Lateral Impact Conditions - An In-Depth-Analysis by GIDAS 1 2007-01-1157

Accident documentations on GIDAS (German In-Depth-Accident Study) from 1999 to 2005 are used for this study dealing with the effectiveness of the side airbag protection for car occupants. An analysis of real world accidents was carried out by ARU-MUH (Accident Research Unit - Medical University Hannover). The data were collected based on the spot documentation in time after an accident event. Based on the accident sampling process, the results of this study are representative for the German traffic accident situation. In order to determine the influence and the effectiveness of airbags, only those accident configurations with comparable conditions on impact direction are used for the study, therefore only cases with impact to the compartment, a delta-v-range 5 to 50 km/h and for struckside seated belted occupants were selected.
The study describes the situation given by a statistical comparison of accident data with and without airbag deployment hampered by the problem of low case numbers by In-Depth-Investigations. The statistical comparison was not able to reach a clear result for the effectiveness of the side bag, therefore a second part of the study was carried out based on the methodology case by case analysis. Then the influence of the side bag on the detailed injury pattern suffered for documented cases could be established. Comparing cases with and without side bag, no AIS 3+ to head and chest could be found in the sample for occupants with side bag protection on one hand, the frequency of head and chest injuries was higher with airbag on the other hand. Based on the detailed reconstruction process, the vehicle movement as well as the kinematics of the occupant are determined and correlated to the performance depending on the side airbag position and effectiveness. The accident severity conditions (delta-V, intrusion measurements) have a significant influence on the injury incidence especially the direction of the shock momentum vector. The paper will show examples of cases where the side airbag were more and less effective and will demonstrate in which impact situations the side bag deployed and protected the nearside occupant.

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