Application of the NHTSA Crash Database to Pole Impact Predictions 920605
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a large database containing data from nearly 1500 staged crash tests. A portion of that database tabulates information about the tests, vehicles, instrumented dummies, and barriers. That tabulated data has now been successfully loaded onto a desk-top Macintosh. Using a relational database program allows for fast and effective use of the database information.
One application of the crash database was to investigate frontal pole barrier tests. The results from nineteen staged pole barrier tests were extracted from the database to evaluate various methods for relating the pre-impact speed to the observed crush.
A common method for estimating speed involves calculation of the crush energy using the observed crush and crush parameters A and B (obtained from flat barrier tests). For frontal pole collisions, this method appears to under-estimate the impact speed by about 33%.
Other methods make use of empirical formulas which relate the maximum observed crush to the impact speed. Two such formulas were evaluated, and a new formula was developed which better fits the staged crash test data.