Interactions of Out-of-Position Small-Female Surrogates with a Depowered Driver Airbag 2008-22-0008
The objectives of this study were to examine the response, repeatability, and injury predictive ability of the Hybrid III small-female dummy to static out-of-position (OOP) deployments using a depowered driver-side airbag. Five dummy tests were conducted in two OOP configurations by two different laboratories. The OOP configurations were nose-on-rim (NOR) and chest-on-bag (COB). Four cadaver tests were conducted using unembalmed small-female cadavers and the same airbags used in the dummy tests under similar OOP conditions. One cadaver test was designed to increase airbag loading of the face and neck (a forehead-on-rim, or FOR test). Comparison between the dummy tests of Lab 1 and of Lab 2 indicated the test conditions and results were repeatable. In the cadaver tests no skull fractures or neck injuries occurred. However, all four cadavers had multiple rib fractures. These results suggested that an older, osteoporatic, small-female driver would experience AIS≥3 thoracic injury if exposed to this type of depowered airbag inflation for the three positions tested, but would be unlikely to experience any head or neck injury. The cadaver results provided no information about the possibility of AIS≥3 rib fractures for the average small, female driver. The Hybrid III small-female dummy results suggest that a low percentage (15%) of small, female drivers would experience AIS≥3 thoracic injuries if they had their chest on the module cover at the time of deployment of this depowered airbag. Also, for this position, the dummy results indicated a risk of an AIS=2 neck injury for some small, female drivers. For all positions tested, the dummy results predicted that head injury was unlikely for most small-female drivers.