Modeling the Effects of Seat Belt Pretensioners on Occupant Kinematics During Rollover
The results of a number of previous studies have demonstrated that seat-belted occupants can undergo significant upward and outward excursion during the airborne phase of vehicular rollover, which may place the occupant at risk for injury during subsequent ground contacts. Furthermore, testing using human volunteers, ATDs, and cadavers has shown that increasing tension in the restraint system prior to a rollover event may be of value for reducing occupant displacement. On this basis, it may be argued that pretensioning the restraint system, utilizing technology developed and installed primarily for improving injury outcome in frontal impacts, may modify restrained occupant injury potential during rollover accidents. However, the capacity of current pretensioner designs to positively impact the motion of a restrained occupant during rollover remains unclear.