Run off road events are frequent and can result in severe consequences. The reasons for leaving the road are numerous and the sequence the car is exerted to differs in most events. The objective of this study is to identify different situations and mechanisms both in respect to accident avoidance and occupant protection and to present test methods addressing the different identified mechanisms of run off road occupant safety.
Mechanisms and influencing factors are identified using statistical and in-depth crash data as well as driving data. There are a number of reasons for leaving the road; driver fatigue, driver distraction and inadequate speed in relation to the traffic situation to mention a few. An outline of principle test methods for evaluating technology assisting the driver to stay on the road is presented in relation to the identified situations and mechanisms.
Crash test methods for some typical run off road scenarios are suggested. Important occupant protection aspects concern mainly occupant retention as well as vertical loading through the seat. System test methods complement the whole vehicle tests, simulating the mechanisms behind these occupant protection aspects.
Run off road events are complex and require a broad approach, addressing the whole sequence of the event, and a large variation of situations. The proposed test methods will help address this topic. Special challenges apply to the simulation of the human, both in the avoidance methods and the crash testing. Addressing this area as a whole, technology developments are needed in a number of areas including sensor and trig algorithm developments, active safety technologies, restraint system design and tuning of seat and interior structure designs as well as post-crash technology.