Development and Testing of Steering Assembly Countermeasures for Driver Impacts 900546
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a program to evaluate improved impact protection for unrestrained drivers. This program was separated into the following phases: an initial problem determination phase; an analytical phase to evaluate potential safety concepts; and a hardware development and testing phase to evaluate safety designs in sled and crash tests. The main objective of this program was the development of steering assembly designs which reduce injury measures for unrestrained drivers in crash impact simulations and which are production feasible. The program was initiated prior to implementation of FMVSS 208 by NHTSA and does not reflect the injury and fatality savings afforded restrained occupants. This paper specifically addresses the hardware development and testing phase of this program that was performed under NHTSA Contract by the Calspan Corporation Advanced Technology Center in Buffalo, NY. For continuity, a description of the problem determination and the analytical modelling phases of the program are provided below.