Occupant’s protection requires two design considerations: 1) reduction of decelerations on the occupant (restrained by a belt) by intentional deformability of the structure; 2) limitation of passenger’s compartment deformation to avoid passenger crushing. It is thought that the second trend should have basic importance. It is necessary to ensure a minimum space called “survival space.” This is also necessary in the event of severe crashes.
A survey is made of structure deformations due to longitudinal, transversal and vertical loads dynamically or statically applied on trucks cabs and car passenger’s compartments. A high-power static test rig permitting the study of structure is described. Orientative values of the survival space are proposed for truck cabs and car passenger’s compartments.