1994-03-01

Collision Performance of Automotive Door Systems 940562

Historically, most safety related improvements to door systems have involved retention of occupants within the vehicle. However, such improvements have not been without some safety trade-offs. The recent update to FMVSS 214 (Side Impact Protection) has focused attention on increased occupant protection in side impacts. The standard essentially increases vehicle side strength requirements in order to reduce intrusion into the occupant space. The safety consequences associated with strengthening vehicle side structure will be evaluated with respect to various impact configurations. Energy management considerations of current as well as conceptual door systems during a collision will also be discussed. Individual latch and hinge component testing as currently required by FMVSS 206 does not completely evaluate the collision performance of the door as a system. From field collision evaluation, it has been seen that doors and surrounding side structure must act as a system to efficiently manage collision forces and distribute occupant loads. Procedures for evaluating current and future door systems by means of revised laboratory testing procedures will be evaluated.

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