Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-0147

Development of a Method to Compare Real-World Crashes to Vehicle Crash Tests 2010-01-0147

Regulatory crash tests provide minimum performance standards for the safety of vehicles sold in the United States. In order to evaluate the similarity of real world crashes to crash tests, a method was developed to compare Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) crashes to crash tests for frontal and side impacts in a controlled, repeatable approach. The purpose of developing a new methodology was to enable future in-depth research on occupant injuries. Three parameter sets were compared for similarities: crash, vehicle, and occupant characteristics. Occupant injuries were compared with injury probabilities calculated from Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATD). Two vehicle parameters, six crash parameters, and five occupant parameters were developed as comparison criteria while additional parameters were included only as supplemental information. CIREN contained in-depth crash and occupant injury information to make crash outcome comparisons possible. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) databases provided the crash test information needed to complete the comparisons. One exemplary case was reviewed in detail for methodological explanation and as a reference for utilizing this method for future work. In this one case, eleven of thirteen parameters demonstrated good similarity to the crash test. The restrained CIREN case occupant sustained multiple injuries to the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and lower extremity as a result of a full frontal impact. By comparing this to a NHTSA frontal crash test, it was possible to investigate ATD injury predictions in relation to the CIREN case occupant's injuries. These comparisons can be made on a per-case basis and used to explore specific differences between the crash test and real-world crash to determine the correlation between occupant outcomes. In particular, these comparison methods were utilized during case review to aid in the review process and investigate occupant kinematics in a crash. This method examines the relationship between crash test results and real-world crash data.


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