Evaluation of Laminated Side Glazing and Curtain Airbags for Occupant Containment in Rollover 2020-01-0976
By their nature as chaotic, high-energy events, rollovers pose a high risk of injury to unrestrained occupants, in particular through exposure to projected perimeter contact and ejection. While seat belts have long been accepted as a highly effective means of retaining and restraining occupants in rollover crashes, it has been suggested that technologies such as laminated safety glazing or rollover-activated side curtain airbags (RSCAs) could alternatively provide effective occupant containment. In this study, a full-scale dolly rollover crash test was performed to assess the occupant containment capability of laminated side glazing and RSCAs in a high-severity rollover event. This allowed for the analysis of unrestrained occupant kinematics during interaction with laminated side glazing and RSCAs and evaluation of failure modes and limitations of laminated glazing and RSCAs as they relate to partial and complete ejection of unrestrained occupants. The dolly rollover was performed with a 2010 Chevrolet Express at a nominal speed of 43 mph, with unbelted anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) positioned in the driver, right front passenger, and designated third, fourth, and fifth row seating positions. Vehicle dynamics and occupant kinematics were analyzed through evaluation of vehicle instrumentation, on-board and off-board real-time and high-speed video, post-test survey of the debris field, and post-test inspection of the vehicle and ATDs. Neither laminated side glazing nor RSCAs prevented complete or partial ejection of the ATDs. Two of the ATDs were completely ejected during the dolly rollover and six other ATDs were partially ejected. Fracture and peripheral separation of laminated side glazing was observed in association with ground contact, vehicle deformation, and ATD loading. Ejection in seating positions adjacent to RSCAs was observed in association with ATD loading and out-of-position interaction with the airbags. The findings of the present study demonstrate that laminated side glazing and rollover-activated side curtain airbags are not substitutes for proper seat belt use.