Evaluating Knee-to-Instrument Panel Impacts 690801

Independent accident investigators tend to agree that knee impacts to current production instrument panels are not a serious injury-producing event. This paper begins by presenting the status of lower-limb injuries in field accidents. A second phase presents the design background of a GM-developed laboratory machine for knee impact area testing. The biomechanic considerations of the device are discussed. Its design, instrumentation, and operation are presented. A subsequent portion of the paper treats the selection of a responsible impact speed for testing. Full-scale sled runs were made with driver and passenger dummies, both lap-belted and unrestrained, to determine the actual relationship between the initial knee-to-panel space and the resulting impact speed.


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