A Study on the Methodology of Evaluating Lateral Impacts and Occupant Protection Measures 852286

Protecting vehicle occupants against injury in the case of lateral impacts requires a reduction in vehicle body deformation so as to assure survival space for the occupants as well as consideration of ways to mitigate the force of secondary impacts on the occupants. If protective measures are implemented only on the struck vehicle, however, it leads to a significant increase in vehicle weight. Fuel economy suffers as a result and there is also an adverse effect on the practical utility of the vehicle. Consequently, a total system should be investigated for occupant protection, including measures designed to reduce the aggression of the striking vehicle. In this connection, the stiffness and shape of the front-end of the striking vehicle should be re-examined.
In this investigation, vehicle impact tests as well as static bench tests were conducted in order to examine lateral impact protection for vehicle occupants. A comprehensive analysis and assessment was made of different vehicle body modifications, degree of difficulty in implementing them and their relative effectiveness. In addition, the aggression of the striking vehicle was investigated in relation to the influence of the impact energy and impact angle on dummy injury values. Finally, several problems inherent in the methodology of evaluating lateral impact protection have also been identified.


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