Hybrid III Response in a SAE Baja Vehicle under Frontal Impacts 2008-01-2982
Vehicles designed for the Baja SAE competition operate on challenging off-road terrain and may be required to withstand accidental impacts with other vehicles and obstacles. Although significant injuries are not commonly observed in this competition, it is important to understand the performance of these vehicles in crash scenarios to optimize frame design and vehicle performance. A finite element model comprising the vehicle chassis and associated subsystem weights, a Hybrid III occupant, and safety systems was developed to evaluate vehicle impact performance in frontal crash. Impacts velocities up to 36 kph were considered, and no significant risk of head, neck or thoracic injury was predicted. Neck injury (as predicted by Nij) and chest acceleration were found to be the most critical, reaching 66% and 75% of their threshold values, respectively, in the most severe crashes considered. Predicted injury levels with and without neck collars were compared and no significant differences were found.