1993-03-01

Dynamic Requirements of Automobile Seatbacks 930349

Accident investigations and empirical information are used to evaluate the performance of the occupant's seatback for frontal and rear impact collisions. The role of the seatback is to prevent rear seat objects from intruding into the occupant's space (frontal impacts) and to keep the occupant from moving rearward out of this zone (rear impacts). Trends in the dynamic performance of the seatback are identified and are discussed relative to the current government safety standards.
The results indicate that bucket seats could be improved to better protect the occupant during collisions. The strength requirements in present standards appears to be inadequate to protect the occupant from seatback collapse during a modest collision. These standards only consider the effects of the seat's mass and do not account for inertial loading of the occupant or any other externally applied impulsive loads.
New approaches for the safety standards are suggested to improve occupant protection in the areas of seatback interaction during low speed impacts, seatback collapse in moderate speed rear impacts, and rear passenger loading occurring in frontal impacts.

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