Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0415

Passenger Vehicle Response and Damage Characteristics of Front and Rear Structures during Low- to Moderate-Speed Impacts 2019-01-0415

Nearly half of all real-world vehicle-to-vehicle collisions involve front-to-rear impacts at low- to moderate speeds. While a variety of studies have been conducted since the 1990’s involving fore-aft collisions, those discussing the response of late model passenger vehicles during progressively more severe impacts are limited. In this study, four front-to-rear impact tests were conducted using two mid-size sedans of the same make, model and year. An instrumented Hybrid III 50th percentile-male Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) was located in the driver seat and was restrained using the available three-point belt system. Instrumentation on the vehicles included tri-axis accelerometers and lap/shoulder belt load cells. For each test, the centerline of the striking and target vehicles were aligned, and the striking vehicle impacted the stationary target vehicle at increasing closing speeds. Tests were conducted at impact speeds of 4.6 mph, 7.9 mph, 13.5 mph, and 20.9 mph. Bumper covers for both vehicles were removed to allow the response of the front and rear vehicle structures during the crash sequence to be observed. Vehicle and ATD data was recorded using on-board data acquisition, and on- and off-board real-time and high-speed video cameras. In addition, the deformation was quantified from pre- and post-impact 3D scan data of the vehicles. Following completion of each test, the damaged components were replaced. The matrix of test conditions was designed to provide data regarding vehicle acceleration, change in velocity, and energy dissipation, as well as allow comparison of the vehicle-to-vehicle force deflection curves at increasing closing speeds. The exposed front and rear structural components allowed the progression and distribution of damage between vehicles to be evaluated.


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