1999-10-10

Three-Year-Old Child Out-Of-Position Side Airbag Studies 99SC03

A series of twenty-nine tests was completed by conducting static deployment of side airbag systems to an out-of-position Hybrid III three-year-old dummy. Mock-ups (bucks) of vehicle occupant compartments were constructed. The dummy was placed in one of four possible positions for both door- and seat-mounted side airbag systems. When data from each type of position test were combined for the various injury parameters it was noted that the head injury criteria (HIC) were maximized for head and neck tests, and the chest injury parameters were maximized for the chest tests. For the neck injury parameters, however, all of the test positions produced high values for at least one of the parameters. The study concluded the following. Static out-of- position child dummy side airbag testing is one possible method to evaluate the potential for injury for worst-case scenarios. The outcome of these tests are sensitive to preposition and various measurements should be made to reproduce the tests. For the same make and model of airbag, different deployment characteristics were observed and, therefore, duplicate tests should be run for repeatability in future research programs. For the airbags tested, these data suggest that the kind of tests necessary to evaluate head, neck, and chest injury potential may be limited to two different positions: a head-neck position, and a chest position. Other airbag designs may require evaluation of additional positions. The side airbags evaluated in this series appear to have the potential for injuring the out-of-position child under worst-case scenarios; the less aggressive airbags reduced this potential.

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