NHTSA's Improved Frontal Protection Research Program 950497

This paper reports on the status of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research program on Improved Frontal Protection. The program is in the problem determination phase. Accident analysis is being conducted to predict the injury producing crash environment for occupants with air bags, to determine appropriate test conditions, dummy sizes and injury measures, and to predict potential benefits. The interim findings are reported here; however the more complete analysis will be in a subsequent Problem Determination report to the agency. Collinear and oblique, frontal, offset crash testing, at different widths of overlap, has been conducted with a standard “bullet” car into several current model “target” cars at speeds of about 60 to 65 kmph for each car. Dummy injury measurements and structural responses provide a basis for determining the most severe impact environment. At present, the Hybrid III with additional instrumentation is the surrogate of choice. Additional instrumentation in the head, neck, thorax, pelvis and lower leg provide enhanced injury measures on the dummy. Three adult sizes of Hybrid III (5th percentile female and 50th and 95th percentile males) are being used in testing to assess injury relationship with size.


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