Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1029

Characteristics of Rollovers Cases Involving Non-deployment of Side Air Curtain Airbags 2019-01-1029

Recent changes in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards have led to utilization of side air curtains to provide occupant retention during rollover events. However, the safety advantage provided by the air curtain relies on the vehicle system’s ability to detect the rollover event. Vehicle manufacturers can utilize a range of technologies to decide when it may be beneficial to deploy the side air curtain. This purpose of this study is to identify characteristics of passenger vehicle rollover events where side air curtains were present and do not deploy. These cases may help improve understanding of rollover events and lead to more robust sensing algorithms. The data for this study was extracted from cases documented in the National Automotive Sampling System – Crashworthiness Data System data set from 2011 – 2015. Rollover cases involving sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans and passenger trucks with model years of 2011 or later and side air curtains were examined. Presence (or not) of a rollover sensor in each vehicle was inferred from vehicle content data available on the Insurance Institute’s crash rating webpages. Characteristics of rollover events where air curtains deployed and did not deployed are described. These include crash descriptors such as the number of quarter turns in the rollover, number of events in the crash and other, non-rollover, crash events. The study compares the types of vehicles and vehicle damage in deployed vs. non-deployed cases. Driver outcomes are also examined including ejection and injury severity.


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