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Technical Paper

Rollover Testing of Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) for Accident Reconstruction

This paper presents results of full-scale instrumented rollover testing on ROV type recreational vehicles. Five tests were conducted using two instrumented side-by-side ROVs at speeds between 20 and 32 mph on unpaved surfaces. Each test vehicle was brought to speed and released, allowing remote steering inputs to initiate turn sequences resulting in rollover. Accelerations were determined using x, y, and z axis accelerometers mounted at the vehicle CG and recorded using a robust data acquisition system. Roll rates were measured using a rotation rate sensor. Roll rates and key acceleration events are presented for each test. Mapping and measurement of the test site includes photography and digital survey of resulting tire marks, impact marks and gouging. Documentation and reconstruction of test roll sequences includes roll rates, vehicle positions and velocities, peak accelerations by impact, and scratch mark and damage examination. These are included in the appendix .
Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

Derivation of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Frontal Crash Pulse Estimates from Barrier Crash Data

The BSAN crash pulse model has been shown to provide useful information for restraint sensing evaluation and for structural force-displacement studies in flat fixed rigid barrier (FFRB) crashes. This paper demonstrates a procedure by which the model may be extended for use with central and offset vehicle to vehicle (VTV) crashes through appropriate combinations of vehicle parameters.
Journal Article

Glass Debris in Rollover Accidents

Vehicles involved in rollover accidents almost always leave a debris trail. This debris trail is useful for the accident reconstructionist; it assists with identifying the vehicle path during the rollover and the location and orientation of the vehicle at various vehicle to ground contacts. Often it is helpful to know when and where various vehicle windows fractured. This is possible by comparing glass obtained from the accident site with glass samples still attached to the accident vehicle. The limit of this analysis is controlled by the manufacturing tolerance of the vehicle glass and the specified pane thickness. This paper presents a series of measurements made on various automotive tempered windows and presents: 1) the thickness range in individual panes, and 2) the thickness variation seen from pane to pane in the same vehicle.
Technical Paper

Load Path Considerations for Side Crash Compatibility

Heavier, larger pickups and SUVs are bound to encounter lighter, smaller passenger vehicles in many future accidents. As the fleet has evolved to include more and more SUVs, their frontal structures are often indistinguishable from pickup fronts. Improvements in geometric compatibility features are crucial to further injury prevention progress in side impact. In corner crashes where modern bullet passenger car (PC) bumpers make appropriate geometrical overlap with target PC rocker panels, concentrated loads sometimes disrupt foam and plastic bumper corners, creating aggressive edges. In situations where sliding occurs along the structural interface, these sharp edges may slice through doors, panels and pillars. End treatments for such bumper beams should be designed to reduce this aggressive potential.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury in Rollover Crashes: A Reexamination of Malibu II

The original Malibu II study, conducted by Bahling et al, found that neck compression loading in rollover crashes is caused by the occupant moving toward the ground and therefore, roof crush was not causally related to the loading. Some have disputed this finding claiming that the occupant does not “dive toward the roof,” but rather, the roof “moves in” toward the occupant, and that roof deformation is the primary cause of cervical spine injuries in rollover crashes. The original study included a detailed analysis of film and force transducer data for 10 Potentially Injurious Impacts (PII's). This paper presents an independent analysis of these 10 PII's and one additional PII. This analysis uses the film and transducer data to evaluate the timing of roof deformation and neck loading, the magnitude of roof deformation at the time of peak neck load, and the motion of the vehicle and occupants in the inertial reference system.
Technical Paper

Pulse Shape and Duration in Frontal Crashes

Understanding of events within the history of a crash, and estimation of the severity of occupant interior collisions depend upon an accurate assessment of crash duration. Since this time duration is not measured independently in most crash test reports, it must usually be inferred from interpretations of acceleration data or from displacement data in high-speed film analysis. The significant physical effects related to the crash pulse are often essential in reconstruction analyses wherein the estimation of occupant interior “second collision” or airbag sensing issues are at issue. A simple relation is presented and examined which allows approximation of the approach phase and separation phase kinematics, including restitution and pulse width. Building upon previous work, this relation allows straightforward interpretation of test data from related publicly available test reports.
Technical Paper

Accident Reconstruction for Rear Pole Impacts of Passenger Cars

While vehicular rear pole impacts are rare, they do occur, and can be very serious. General accident reconstruction methods, which derive vehicle stiffness values from rear barrier crash tests, over-predict the impact speed for these types of pole impacts. Thirteen pole crash tests were run into the rear-ends of four 4-door, front-wheel drive sedans. Repeated crash testing was used on three of the vehicles. Two 1988 Acura Legends, which have one of the highest stiffness values from FMVSS 301 Rear Compliance crash testing, a 1988 Honda Civic, which has one of the softest rear-end stiffnesses, and a 1986 Ford Taurus were tested. The repeated crash testing methodology was validated using one of the 1988 Acura Legends and a previously published Ford Taurus test. Residual crush was measured using maximum crush, point-to-point, longitudinal full-width, and longitudinal reduced-width methodologies. Crush was found to be linearly related to impact speed.
Technical Paper

Issues in Seatbelt Inertial Release

Initial claims that seatbelt buckles might inertially unlatch in an automobile collision were based upon the observation that sharply striking the backside of a side-release buckle with some object could cause the buckle to unlatch. More recently, similar examinations have formed the basis of the hypothesis that end-release buckles might be susceptible to inertial release under certain crash conditions. This paper discusses some examples of how test data have been misinterpreted to erroneously support these hypotheses.