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Technical Paper

Effectiveness of Safety Belts and Airbags in Preventing Fatal Injury

1991-02-01
910901
Airbags and safety belts are now viewed as complements for occupant protection in a crash. There is also a view that no single solution exists to ensure safety and that a system of protective technologies is needed to maximize safety in the wide variety of real automotive crashes. This paper compares the fatality prevention effectiveness, and biomechanical principles of occupant restraint systems. It focuses on the effectiveness of various systems in preventing fatal injury assuming the restraint is available and used. While lap-shoulder belts provide the greatest safety, airbags protect both belted and unbelted occupants.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Armrest Loading in Side Impacts

1991-10-01
912899
Door armrests of different crush properties and placement were evaluated in a series of side impact sled tests. Three armrest designs were fabricated with an identical shape but different crush force. The crush properties covered a range in occupant protection systems based on knowledge of human tolerance in side impacts. With BioSID, the softest armrest produced the lowest compression and Viscous responses, and the probability of AIS 4+ injury was below 1%. The compression-based responses increased significantly in tests with armrests of a higher crush force. The profile of the stiffer armrests clearly protruded into the dummy, and the probability of serious injury was 86%-100% based on compression. With SID, the lowest TTI(d) was with the intermediate stiffness armrest. The SID dummy and TTI(d) criterion indicated a 4%-8% probability of AIS 4+ injury for all test conditions and armrest designs.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the Benefit of Energy-Absorbing Material in Side Impact Protection: Part II

1987-11-01
872213
This paper refines the methodology presented in the companion paper linking reductions in biomechanical responses due to force-limiting material to projections of injury-mitigation in real-world side impact crashes. The revised approach was used to evaluate the potential injury reducing benefit for the chest and abdomen with either constant crush force or constant stiffness, crushable material in the side door and armrest. Using a simulation of the human impact response, a range in crush force or stiffness was determined which reduced the viscous response from that obtained with a rigid impact. NCSS field accident data for car-to-car side impacts provided information on the occupant exposure and injury as a function of the change in velocity (ΔV) of the struck vehicle. Since the velocity of the side door at contact with the occupant's chest is similar to the ΔV of the struck vehicle, the chest impact velocity in the simulation was assumed equal to the observed ΔV in the NCSS data.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the Benefit of Energy-Absorbing Material in Side impact Protection: Part I

1987-11-01
872212
This paper presents a methodology to link reductions in biomechanical responses due to force-limiting material to projections of injury mitigation in real-world side impact crashes, and to use this approach to evaluate the potential injury reducing benefit for the chest and abdomen of constant crush force material in the side door and armrest. Using a simulation of the human impact response, a range in crush force was determined which effectively reduced a peak biomechanical response from that obtained with a rigid impact. The range in constant crush force depended on the velocity of impact. The higher the velocity of impact, the higher the level of crush force to achieve a reduction in the peak response. NCSS field accident data for car-to-car side impacts provided information on the occupant exposure and injury as a function of the change in velocity (ΔV) of the struck vehicle.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the SID Dummy and TTI Injury Criterion for Side impact Testing

1987-11-01
872208
The NHTSA's side impact dummy (SID) was evaluated against what is known of the side impact response of the human chest and responses were compared with data on Hybrid III frontal and EURQSID side impact characteristics. The SID dummy lacks a human-like chest deflection response which is crucial to the injury indicating capability of a dummy, it has a 9.8 kg near-side rib mass which is approximately an order of magnitude greater than that of the human, and it develops impact forces that are nearly three times higher than the recommended human chest response. It possesses characteristics primarily of an inertial device. The thoracic trauma index (TTI) was evaluated as an indicator of side impact injury risk, and design trends and optimized padding characteristics identified with the SID and TTI were compared with those from the Hybrid III dummy and viscous or compression injury criteria.
Technical Paper

Fatal Crashes of Female Drivers Wearing Safety Belts

1996-02-01
960459
Fatal crash circumstances for 48 belted female drivers were studied in-depth and compared to those of 83 belted male drivers in a similar population of vehicles. Women had a higher incidence of crashes on slippery roads, during lane changes and passing maneuvers than men who had a higher rate of aggressive driving and speed related crashes (χ2 = 10.47, p < 0.001). Driver-side damage was significantly more frequent in female than male crashes (χ2 = 5.74, p < 0.025) and women had a higher fraction of side impacts (45.9% v 31.4%) and crashes during daylight (87.0% v 72.3%, χ2 = 3.65, p < 0.05) than men. Women also had a higher fraction of potentially avoidable crashes than men (57.5% v 39.0%) and a lower involvement related to aggressive driving (10.6% v 25.6%). These differences were statistically significant (χ2 = 5.41, p < 0.025).
Technical Paper

Fatalities by Seating Position and Principal Direction of Force (PDOF) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Row Occupants

2008-05-12
2008-01-1850
Purpose: A better understanding of rear occupant fatality risks is needed to guide the development of safety improvements for 2nd and 3rd row occupants. This study investigates fatal accidents of 1st, 2nd and 3rd row occupants by principal direction of force (PDOF), irrespective of restraint use. It determined the number of fatalities, exposure and fatality risk. Methods: 1996-2005 FARS was analyzed for occupant fatalities by seating position (1st, 2nd and 3rd row) and principal direction of force (1-12 o'clock PDOF, rollover and other/unknown). Light vehicles were included with model year 1990+. 1996-2005 NASS-CDS was similarly analyzed for occupant exposure. Fatality risk was defined as the number of fatalities in FARS for a given category divided by the exposure from NASS-CDS. Results: Ten percent (9.6%) of fatalities were to 2nd row occupants in FARS. About 2,080 deaths occur to 2nd row occupants annually. 38.4% died in rollovers and 26.8% in frontal crashes.
Technical Paper

Field Accident Data Analysis of 2nd Row Children and Individual Case Reviews

2008-05-12
2008-01-1851
Child safety is an important issue. The objective of this study was to analyze field accident data for 0-7 year old children in the 2nd row by vehicle and crash type, irrespective of restraint use. The data was obtained from NASS-CDS for calendar years 1991-2005. Accidents were selected based on 2nd row occupancy in towaway light vehicles with model year 1990 or newer. Side impacts caused 30.9% of serious-to-fatal injury (MAIS 3+F) to 2nd row children followed by frontal impacts (29.8%), rollovers (24.4%) and rear crashes (15.0%). The highest risk for MAIS 3+F was in rollovers (2.8 ± 0.7%) followed by rear (1.4 ± 0.4%), side (1.0 ± 0.2%) and frontal (0.46 ± 0.10%) crashes. The differences are statistically significant (p <0.01). Individual rear and frontal impact cases were also reviewed to better understand injury mechanisms of children in the 2nd row. The cases were obtained from the 1997-2005 NASS-CDS electronic database.
Technical Paper

Field Data Analysis of Rear Occupant Injuries Part I: Adults and Teenagers

2003-03-03
2003-01-0153
Since more occupants are using rear seats of vehicles, a better understanding of priorities for rear occupant protection is needed as future safety initiatives are considered. A two-part study was conducted on occupant injuries in rear seating positions. In Part I, adult and teenage occupants ≥13 years of age are investigated. In Part II, children aged 4-12 years old and toddlers and infants aged 0-3 are studied separately because of the use of infant and child seats and boosters involve different injury mechanisms and tolerances. The objectives of this study on adult and teenager, rear-seated occupants (≥13 years old) are to: 1) review accident data, 2) identify the distribution of rear occupants, and 3) analyze injury risks in various crash modes, including rollovers, frontal, side and rear impacts. Three databases were investigated: NASS-CDS, GES and FARS.
Technical Paper

Field Data Analysis of Rear Occupant Injuries Part II: Children, Toddlers and Infants

2003-03-03
2003-01-0154
Child safety continues to be an important issue in automotive safety for many reasons, including reported cases of serious injury from airbag deployments. As a result of extensive public education campaigns, most children are now placed in rear seats of vehicles. Accordingly, a more precise understanding of rear-seat occupant protection is developing as the second and third rows have become the primary seating area for children in SUVs, vans and passenger cars. The objective of this study was to review field crash and injury data from rear seats, identify the distribution of children and infants in rear seats, and analyze injury risks in various crash modes. The database used was the 1991-1999 NASS-CDS. When looking at crash configurations for 1st and 2nd row children, rollover crashes involved the highest incidence of MAIS 3+ injury, followed by frontal and side impacts. Lap-shoulder belt usage was similar for 1st and 2nd row children.
Technical Paper

Fracture-Dislocation of the Thoracic Spine in Extension by Upright Seats in Severe Rear Crashes

2011-04-12
2011-01-0274
Purpose: This study presents cases of fracture-dislocation of the thoracic spine in extension during severe rear impacts. The mechanism of injury was investigated. Methods: Four crashes were investigated where a lap-shoulder-belted, front-seat occupant experienced fracture-dislocation of the thoracic spine and paraplegia in a severe rear impact. Police, investigator and medical records were reviewed, the vehicle was inspected and the seat detrimmed. Vehicle dynamics, occupant kinematics and injury mechanisms were determined in this case study. Results: Each case involved a lap-shoulder-belted occupant in a high retention seat with ≻1,700 Nm moment or ≻5.5 kN strength for rearward loading. The crashes were offset rear impacts with 40-56 km/h delta V involving under-ride or override by the impacting vehicle and yaw of the struck vehicle. In each case, the occupant's pelvis was restrained on the seat by the open perimeter frame of the seatback and lap belt.
Journal Article

Front Seat Performance in Rear Impacts: Effect on 1st and 2nd Row Occupant Injury

2009-04-20
2009-01-0252
Purpose: This study analyzes the effect of front seat performance on occupant injury in rear crashes where there is a 2nd row passenger seated behind the front occupant. Methods: The study was carried out for rear impact crashes in the 1991–2006 NASS-CDS. Only cases where there was a 2nd row occupant seated behind an occupied front seat were chosen. Serious injury (MAIS 3+F) was determined for the front and 2nd row occupants. The performance of the front seat was determined using eight NASS-CDS investigator categories, including no failure, seat failure of the adjuster, seatback or track-anchor and seat deformation by the occupant or intrusion. The rear crashes were subdivided into four severities (<15, 15–25, 25–45 and >45 mph). The risk for serious injury was determined for each category of seat performance. Next, individual cases were reviewed from the online NASS electronic files to better understand the determination of seat performance by the NASS-CDS investigators.
Technical Paper

Front-Seat Occupant Injuries in Rear Impacts: Analysis of the Seatback Incline Variable in NASS-CDS

2009-04-20
2009-01-1200
Objective: This study addresses severe injury risks in rear impacts for front-outboard occupants using the seatback incline variable in NASS-CDS. Methods: Severe injury risk (MAIS 4+F) was determined for front-seat occupants in rear impacts involving passenger cars from 1995–2006 NASS-CDS data. The risk of severe injury to front-seat occupants was determined as a function of the rotated position of the seatback and crash severity in three delta V ranges: <20, 20–30, >30 mph. The data was also analyzed for newer model vehicles (≥1997 MY) to assess changes with newer seats and head restraints. The effects of seatbelt use, occupant age and BMI (Body Mass Index) were also examined. Individual NASS-CDS electronic cases were also reviewed with MAIS 4+F injury. There were 25 injured occupants in rotated seats and 46 in non-rotated seats. Results: Severe injury risk for front-seat occupants in rear impacts is lower with a rotated seatback in the most severe rear crashes.
Technical Paper

History of Safety Research and Development on the General Motors Energy-Absorbing Steering System

1991-10-01
912890
This paper covers the development of the General Motors Energy Absorbing Steering System beginning with the work of the early crash injury pioneers Hugh DeHaven and Colonel John P. Stapp through developments and introduction of the General Motors energy absorbing steering system in 1966. evaluations of crash performance of the system, and further improvement in protective function of the steering assembly. The contributions of GM Research Laboratories are highlighted, including its safety research program. Safety Car, Invertube, the biomechanic projects at Wayne State University, and the thoracic and abdominal tolerance studies that lead to the development of the Viscous Injury Criterion and self-aligning steering wheel.
Technical Paper

How and When Blunt Injury Occurs — Implications to Frontal and Side Impact Protection

1988-10-01
881714
The timing of liver laceration in swine during the course of a blunt impact was investigated. The swine were impacted on the upper abdomen by the lower segment of a steering wheel at 6, 9 and 12 m/s. The degree of compression in each impact was controlled independently from 10 to 50%. By varying when “the punch of an impact was pulled,” we reproduced progressive segments of a longer duration blunt impact. Autopsy of the subjects demonstrated that lacerations were initiated after 8 ms of loading at 9 m/s and 6 ms of loading at 12 m/s. The time of injury was concurrent with the time when the Viscous response exceeded a threshold of 1.2 m/s in our specimens. The Viscous injury criterion, defined as the peak Viscous response, was found to be the best predictor of liver laceration. We conclude that the Viscous response relates to the actual etiology of injury, in addition to being an excellent correlative measure.
Technical Paper

Influence of Crush Orientation on Knee Bolster Function in Barrier Crash Simulation

1980-06-01
800852
Barrier crash simulations with a torsobelted Part 572 dummy were conducted to determine the influence of knee bolster crush orientations of 0°–60° on lower extremity restraint. Responses from two sled velocity and mean deceleration severities were investigated: 6.6 m/s at 7.5 g and 13.5 m/s at 13.9 g. The dummy’s knees were prepositioned 10 cm from individual experimental bolsters, which crushed along a predetermined axis. Bolster orientation had only a minor effect on the level of peak dummy femur, and resultant knee bolster reaction load and on lower extremity kinematics of the torsobelted occupant; however, the local loading of the knee and level of tibial compression were significantly influenced.
Technical Paper

Influence of Initial Length of Lap-Shoulder Belt on Occupant Dynamics-A Comparison of Sled Testing and MVMA–2D Modeling

1980-09-01
801309
The primary purpose of this parameter study was to carefully document occupant dynamics in well-controlled sled tests for comparison with simulated responses from the MVMA-2D analytical model. The test involved a Part 572 dummy exposed to a frontal deceleration while on a bucket seat and restrained by a lap-shoulder belt system. The length of belt webbing was incrementally increased from a snug configuration by as much as 30 cm. The addition of webbing increased the forward excursion, velocity, and acceleration of the head, chest, and hip without affecting the peak tension in the belt segments of the restraint system. Belt tension was identified as a poor measure of the horizontal load on the chest due to significant reaction forces in the lateral and vertical direction at the belt anchorages.
Technical Paper

Influence of Lateral Restraint on Occupant Interaction with a Shoulder Belt or Preinflated Air Bag in Oblique Impacts

1981-02-01
810370
Sled tests were conducted at farside oblique angles of 15°, 45°, and 75° with a Part 572 dummy restrained by a conventional driver lap/shoulder belt system or a preinflated driver inflatable restaint. Occupant dynamics were compared in similar tests where an inboard energy absorbing lateral restraint of the upper torso was or was not used. It can be concluded that the seat wing improves the control of the dummy's dynamics in oblique impacts by directing the occupant's motion more forward into the restraint system, thereby taking more advantage of the restraining potential of the shoulder belt or inflatable restraint in controlling the deceleration of the dummy and enhancing the benefit of the restraint system. However, additional factors associated with the use of a seat wing remain to be investigated including the effect of impact force on the occupant, interaction with out-of-position occupants and comfort/convenience.
Technical Paper

Influence of Seatback Angle on Occupant Dynamics in Simulated Rear-End Impacts

1992-11-01
922521
In the early 1980's a series of tests was conducted simulating rear-end crashes. The tests demonstrated that a conventional automotive bucket seat adequately retains an unbelted dummy on the seat for rear-end impacts up to 6.4 m/s and 9.5 g severity. For this severity of impact the total rearward rotation of the seatback is less than 60° from the vertical and is associated with a normal acceleration of the dummy's chest into the seatback of up to 10 g. The tangential acceleration of the dummy, which may induce riding up the seat, was generally less than the normal component so that the occupant was prevented from sliding up the deflected seatback. The bucket seat provided adequate containment and control of occupant displacements for each of the initial seatback angles of 9°, 22°, and 35°.
Technical Paper

Influence of Seating Position on Dummy Responses with ABTS Seats in Severe Rear Impacts

2009-04-20
2009-01-0250
Objective: This study analyzes rear sled tests with a 95th% male and 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in various seating positions on ABTS (All Belt to Seat) seats in severe rear impact tests. Dummy interactions with the deforming seatback and upper body extension around the seat frame are considered. Methods: The 1st series involved an open sled fixture with a Sebring ABTS seat at 30 mph rear delta V. A 95th% Hybrid III dummy was placed in four different seating positions: 1) normal, 2) leaning inboard, 3) leaning forward and inboard, and 4) leaning forward and outboard. The 2nd series used a 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in a Grand Voyager body buck at 25 mph rear delta V. The dummy was leaned forward and inboard on a LeSabre ABTS or Voyager seat. The 3rd series used a 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in an Explorer body buck at 26 mph rear delta V. The dummy was leaned forward and inboard on a Sebring ABTS or Explorer seat.
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