Side Impacts: A Comparison of Laboratory Experiments and NCSS Crashes 800176

Selected side-impact cases from the National Crash Severity Study (NCSS) were studied to determine similarities and differences between actual crashes and laboratory (sled) crash tests. Sled tests simulating side impact have been conducted almost exclusively at a 90° impact angle, so the NCSS cases analyzed were those with a near-side occupant and a reported 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock impact vector.
Of the 91 cases studied, 51 were judged comparable to the laboratory situation. The remainder generally involved cars struck at a point remote from the passenger compartment, and often involved considerable rotation of the vehicle. Injuries for the 51 cases were tabulated by crash severity (Delta V) and were judged to be quite similar to those observed in laboratory (sled) tests at a slightly higher Delta V. Brief notes are appended concerning each of the reviewed cases.
A less detailed analysis of a broader set of side collisions (2–4 o'clock and 8–10 o'clock) was also conducted to further illuminate the findings of the detailed case review.


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