Frontal Offset Crash Testing for Approx. 15 Years: Results, Experiences and Consequences 900413

The majority of real world frontal collisions involve only partial overlap of the vehicle front. Both, the resulting car deformations and the occupant loadings cannot be simulated with an impact against a flat or an angled (i.e. 30 degrees) barrier, even with an impact speed of 35 mph. As a consequence, safety engineers at Mercedes-Benz have established an adequate offset crash test with 40% barrier overlap. The effectiveness of offset design is demonstrated by means of numerous critical and realistical offset crash tests, such as impact with 40% and 25 % barrier overlap, impact against a pole (20% overlap) or car-to-car collisions (approx. 50% overlap). It is evident that further improvements in car design, in particular with respect to its effectiveness in real world accidents, can only be induced by offset testing. Since the predominant goal of offset-design is to stiffen the passenger compartment, offset design is not in conflict with compatibility (equivalent to avoiding aggressiveness) in car-to-car collisions. Further improvements might be achieved with respect to inducing glance-off effects and a further reduction of injuries to the feet. Therefore, suitability of both, test methods and injury criteria should be improved.


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