Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-0159
2008-04-14

Single-Vehicle Rollovers Involving an Initial Off-Roadway Excursion Followed by a Return to Roadway: A NASS Study and Vehicle Response Measurement 2008-01-0159

This paper describes an investigation that seeks to understand how rollovers occur in real-world crashes, both by studying real world crashes and by analyzing vehicle handling tests to gain insights into potential mechanisms of pre-crash loss of control. In particular, this study focuses on one type of rollover, namely single-vehicle rollovers that follow a pattern of the vehicle first leaving the roadway and then returning to the roadway typically out-of-control. Aims of this study included the following:
  • To describe the frequency and characteristics of single-vehicle rollovers involving an off-roadway excursion followed by a complete, if only temporary return to the roadway.
  • To the extent possible, given available data, to assess the nature and consequences of driver inputs during the crash sequence.
  • To define characteristics of crash scenarios which include a substantial proportion of this subset of single-vehicle rollovers.
To accomplish these aims, case files from the National Automotive Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data System (NASS CDS, 1997-2001) were reviewed. The overall purpose of this review was to understand the mechanisms involved with loss of control and provide this information to support further research on preventing loss of control on the roadway subsequent to off-roadway excursion and roadway reentry.
To further illustrate the mechanism that leads to loss of control when a vehicle returns to the roadway, the results of testing conducted to compare a vehicle's response to steering maneuvers on pavement versus the same steering maneuvers initiated on a road edge is presented. This paper presents the results of these tests, focusing on the effect that the change in surface has in amplifying the yaw rate and sideslip response of the vehicle.
Finally, the results of the testing are compared to the insights gained from the NASS CDS real world crash study, to garner further insight into some of the mechanisms involved with this type of accident.

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