An Analysis of ATD Seating Positions in NHTSA Frontal Crash Testing 950890
For many years, crash testing performed for the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been used to analyze and study trends in the measured Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) test responses in 48 kph (FMVSS 208) and 56 kph (NCAP) frontal barrier crash tests. Although many variables must be controlled in these tests, the initial seated position of the dummy has been found to significantly affect the measured dummy parameters (head acceleration, chest acceleration, femur loads). Data generated from the NHTSA sponsored testing is archived in the NHTSA Vehicle Crash Test Database (VCTDB).
The present study is performed to analyze the driver ATD positions in frontal crash tests. First, a publication review was performed from which selected related seating position literature is discussed. The resulting relationships to design guidelines (e.g. SAE J standards) are also discussed. Secondly, an analysis of the VCTDB is performed where the ATD to interior structure clearance dimensions are analyzed and discussed. Also, contained within the VCTDB are several same make and model vehicles which are compared to analyze the variation in the dummy placement within these similar vehicles. Finally, a small but diverse population of drivers is surveyed in three vehicles and the resulting driver positioning clearance dimensions are reported and compared to the VCTDB dummy interior clearance dimensions.