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Technical Paper

A Pilot Study of Occupant Accommodation and Seat Belt Fit for Law Enforcement Officers

2016-04-05
2016-01-1504
Law enforcement officers (LEO) make extensive use of vehicles to perform their jobs, often spending large portions of a shift behind the wheel. Few LEO vehicles are purpose-built; the vast majority are modified civilian vehicles. Data from the field indicate that LEO suffer from relatively high levels musculoskeletal injury that may be due in part to poor accommodation provided by their vehicles. LEO are also exposed to elevated crash injury risk, which may be exacerbated by a compromise in the performance of the occupant restraint systems due to body-borne equipment. A pilot study was conducted to demonstrate the application of three-dimensional anthropometric scanning and measurement technology to address critical concerns related to vehicle design. Detailed posture and belt fit data were gathered from five law enforcement officers as they sat in the patrol vehicles that they regularly used and in a mockup of a mid-sized vehicle.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Child Body Dimensions with Rear Seat Geometry

2006-04-03
2006-01-1142
Children who are too large for harness restraints but too small to obtain good restraint from a vehicle seatbelt alone should be seated in a belt-positioning booster. Boosters have been shown to significantly reduce abdominal injuries caused by seatbelts. This effectiveness may be due in part to the fact that boosters reduce the effective seat cushion length, allowing children to sit more comfortably without slouching. NHTSA recommends that children who do not use harness restraints use boosters until they are at least 145 cm tall. In this paper, data from several sources were combined to assess how well children fit on rear seat cushions. Data from NASS-GES were analyzed to determine the age distribution of rear-seat occupants. Anthropometric data from several sources were analyzed to determine the distribution of buttock-popliteal length, a measure of thigh length that is a key determinant of seat fit, as a function of age and gender.
Technical Paper

Biomechanics of 4-Point Seat Belt Systems in Frontal Impacts

2003-10-27
2003-22-0017
The biomechanical behavior of 4-point seat belt systems was investigated through MADYMO modeling, dummy tests and post mortem human subject tests. This study was conducted to assess the effect of 4-point seat belts on the risk of thoracic injury in frontal impacts, to evaluate the ability to prevent submarining under the lap belt using 4-point seat belts, and to examine whether 4-point belts may induce injuries not typically observed with 3-point seat belts. The performance of two types of 4-point seat belts was compared with that of a pretensioned, load-limited, 3-point seat belt. A 3-point belt with an extra shoulder belt that “crisscrossed” the chest (X4) appeared to add constraint to the torso and increased chest deflection and injury risk. Harness style shoulder belts (V4) loaded the body in a different biomechanical manner than 3-point and X4 belts.
Technical Paper

Methods for Laboratory Investigation of Truck and Bus Driver Postures

2000-12-04
2000-01-3405
Few studies have systematically examined the effects of truck and bus workstation geometry on driver posture and position. This paper presents methods for determining drivers' postural responses and preferred component locations using a reconfigurable vehicle mockup. Body landmark locations recorded using a three-dimensional digitizer are used to compute a skeletal-linkage representation of the drivers' posture. A sequential adjustment procedure is used to determine the preferred positions and orientations of key components, including the seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Data gathered using these methods will be used to create new design tools for trucks and buses, including models of driver-selected seat position, eye location, and needed component adjustment ranges. The results will also be used to create accurate posture-prediction models for use with human modeling software.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Predicting Automobile Driver Posture

2000-06-06
2000-01-2180
Recent research in the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program has led to the development of a new method for automobile driver posture prediction, known as the Cascade Model. The Cascade Model uses a sequential series of regression functions and inverse kinematics to predict automobile occupant posture. This paper presents an alternative method for driver posture prediction using data-guided kinematic optimization. The within-subject conditional distributions of joint angles are used to infer the internal cost functions that guide tradeoffs between joints in adapting to different vehicle configurations. The predictions from the two models are compared to in-vehicle driving postures.
Technical Paper

ASPECT: The Next-Generation H-Point Machine and Related Vehicle and Seat Design and Measurement Tools

1999-03-01
1999-01-0962
The ASPECT program was conducted to develop new Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools. This paper presents a summary of the objectives, methods, and results of the program. The primary goal of ASPECT was to create a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point machine. The new ASPECT manikin has an articulated torso linkage, revised seat contact contours, a new weighting scheme, and a simpler, more user-friendly installation procedure. The ASPECT manikin simultaneously measures the H-point location, seat cushion angle, seatback angle, and lumbar support prominence of a seat, and can be used to make measures of seat stiffness. In addition to the physical manikin, the ASPECT program developed new tools for computer-aided design (CAD) of vehicle interiors. The postures and positions of hundreds of vehicle occupants with a wide range of body size were measured in many different vehicle conditions.
Technical Paper

ASPECT Manikin Applications and Measurements for Design, Audit, and Benchmarking

1999-03-01
1999-01-0965
The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) manikin provides new capabilities for vehicle and seat measurement while maintaining continuity with previous practices. This paper describes how the manikin is used in the development of new designs, the audit verification of build, and in benchmarking competitive vehicles and seats. The measurement procedures are discussed in detail, along with the seat and package dimensions that are associated with the new tool.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the ASPECT Manikin

1999-03-01
1999-01-0963
The primary objective of the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program was to develop a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point manikin. The new ASPECT manikin builds on the long-term success of the H-point manikin while adding new measurement capability and improved ease of use. The ASPECT manikin features an articulated torso linkage to measure lumbar support prominence; new contours based on human subject data; a new weighting scheme; lightweight, supplemental thigh, leg, and shoe segments; and a simpler, user-friendly installation procedure. This paper describes the new manikin in detail, including the rationale and motivation for the design features. The ASPECT manikin maintains continuity with the current SAE J826 H-point manikin in important areas while providing substantial new measurement capability.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0966
A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

New Concepts in Vehicle Interior Design Using ASPECT

1999-03-01
1999-01-0967
The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program developed a new physical manikin for seat measurement and new techniques for integrating the seat measurements into the vehicle design process. This paper presents an overview of new concepts in vehicle interior design that have resulted from the ASPECT program and other studies of vehicle occupant posture and position conducted at UMTRI. The new methods result from an integration of revised versions of the SAE seat position and eyellipse models with the new tools developed in ASPECT. Measures of seat and vehicle interior geometry are input to statistical posture and position prediction tools that can be applied to any specified user population or individual occupant anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Airbag-Induced Thermal Skin Burn Model

1999-03-01
1999-01-1065
The UMTRI Airbag Skin Burn Model has been improved through laboratory testing and the implementation of a more flexible heat transfer model. A new impinging jet module based on laboratory measurements of heat flux due to high-velocity gas jets has been added, along with an implicit finite-difference skin conduction module. The new model can be used with airbag gas dynamics simulation outputs, or with heat flux data measured in the laboratory, to predict the potential for thermal skin burn due to exposure to airbag exhaust gas.
Technical Paper

Challenges in Frontal Crash Protection of Pregnant Drivers Based on Anthropometric Considerations

1999-03-01
1999-01-0711
Pregnant occupants pose a particular challenge to safety engineers because of their different anthropometry and the additional “occupant within the occupant.” A detailed study of the anthropometry and seated posture of twentytwo pregnant drivers over the course of their pregnancies was conducted. Subjects were tested in an adjustable seating buck that could be configured to different vehicle package geometries with varying belt anchorage locations. Each subject was tested four times over the course of her pregnancy to examine changes in seat positioning, seated anthropometry, and positioning of the lap and shoulder belts with gestational age. Data collected include preferred seating positions of pregnant drivers, proximity of the pregnant occupant to the steering wheel and airbag module, contours of the subjects’ torsos and abdomens relative to seat-belt centerline contours, and subject perceptions of their seated posture and proximity to vehicle components.
Technical Paper

ATD Positioning Based on Driver Posture and Position

1998-11-02
983163
Current ATD positioning practices depend on seat track position, seat track travel range, and design seatback angle to determine appropriate occupant position and orientation for impact testing. In a series of studies conducted at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, driver posture and position data were collected in forty-four vehicles. The seat track reference points currently used to position ATDs (front, center, and rear of the track) were found to be poor predictors of the average seat positions selected by small female, midsize male, and large male drivers. Driver-selected seatback angle was not closely related to design seatback angle, the measure currently used to orient the ATD torso. A new ATD Positioning Model was developed that more accurately represents the seated posture and position of drivers who match the ATD statures.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Driver Eye Position Model

1998-02-23
980012
SAE Recommended Practice J941 describes the eyellipse, a statistical representation of driver eye locations, that is used to facilitate design decisions regarding vehicle interiors, including the display locations, mirror placement, and headspace requirements. Eye-position data collected recently at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) suggest that the SAE J941 practice could be improved. SAE J941 currently uses the SgRP location, seat-track travel (L23), and design seatback angle (L40) as inputs to the eyellipse model. However, UMTRI data show that the characteristics of empirical eyellipses can be predicted more accurately using seat height, steering-wheel position, and seat-track rise. A series of UMTRI studies collected eye-location data from groups of 50 to 120 drivers with statures spanning over 97 percent of the U.S. population. Data were collected in thirty-three vehicles that represent a wide range of vehicle geometry.
Technical Paper

Upper-Extremity Injuries From Steering Wheel Airbag Deployments

1997-02-24
970493
In a review of 540 crashes in which the steering-wheel airbag deployed, 38% of the drivers sustained some level of upper extremity injury. The majority of these were AIS-1 injuries including abrasions, contusions and small lacerations. In 18 crashes the drivers sustained AIS-2 or-3 level upper extremity injuries, including fractures of the radius and/or ulna, or of the metacarpal bones, all related to airbag deployments. It was determined that six drivers sustained the fracture(s) directly from the deploying airbag or the airbag module cover. The remaining 12 drivers had fractures from the extremity being flung into interior vehicle structures, usually the instrument panel. Most drivers were taller than 170 cm and, of the 18 drivers, 10 were males.
Technical Paper

Distribution of Automobile Trip Durations for Studies of Seat Comfort

1996-02-01
960476
Data from the 1990 U.S. Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey were analyzed to determine the distribution of trip durations and sitting times for use in the design of automobile seat comfort studies. Two measures relating to the incidence and prevalence of long-term sitting were calculated and presented for the U.S. population and various subgroups. The information can be used to select an appropriate test duration for comfort studies. The subgroup data allow the test duration to be tailored for specific market segments.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Seating Accommodation Model

1996-02-01
960479
Dynamic seat-position testing conducted recently at UMTRI on several different vehicles indicates that, in many cases, the current seating accommodation model represented in SAE J1517 does not accurately predict the distribution of driver seat positions. In general, J1517 tends to predict population percentile seat positions that are forward of observed percentile seat positions, and differences can be as much as 60 mm. It was hypothesized that vehicle factors other than seat height can have substantial and independent effects on driver seat position. The effects of steering-wheel position, seat height, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type on driver fore/aft seat position are being investigated, and results are being used to develop a new driver seating accommodation model called SAM.
Technical Paper

Lumbar Support in Auto Seats: Conclusions from a Study of Preferred Driving Posture

1996-02-01
960478
Prominent, longitudinally convex lumbar supports are frequently recommended for auto seats based on the assumption that such supports will induce sitters to choose postures with substantial lumbar lordosis. Lumbar lordosis has been associated with reduced spine loading as measured by pressure in the intervertebral disks. Data from a laboratory study of the influence of lumbar support on driving posture demonstrate that, on average, lumbar lordosis is not strongly affected by large increases in lumbar support prominence. These findings, and their implications for seat design, are reviewed.
Technical Paper

Some Effects of Lumbar Support Contour on Driver Seated Posture

1995-02-01
950141
An appropriately contoured lumbar support is widely regarded as an essential component of a comfortable auto seat. A frequently stated objective for a lumbar support is to maintain the sitter's lumbar spine in a slightly extended, or lordotic, posture. Although sitters have been observed to sit with substantial lordosis in some short-duration testing, long-term postural interaction with a lumbar support has not been documented quantitatively in the automotive environment. A laboratory study was conducted to investigate driver posture with three seatback contours. Subjects† from four anthropometric groups operated an interactive laboratory driving simulator for one-hour trials. Posture data were collected by means of a sonic digitizing system. The data identify driver-selected postures over time for three lumbar support contours. An increase of 25 mm in the lumbar support prominence from a flat contour did not substantially change lumbar spine posture.
Technical Paper

Laboratory Investigations and Mathematical Modeling of Airbag-Induced Skin Burns

1994-11-01
942217
Although driver-side airbag systems provide protection against serious head and chest injuries in frontal impacts, injuries produced by the airbag itself have also been reported. Most of these injuries are relatively minor, and consist primarily of skin abrasions and burns. Previous investigations have addressed the mechanisms of airbag-induced skin abrasion. In the current research, laboratory studies related to the potential for thermal burns due to high-temperature airbag exhaust gas were conducted. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to produce a 10-mm-diameter jet of hot air that was directed onto the leg skin of human volunteers in time-controlled pulses. Skin burns were produced in 70 of 183 exposures conducted using air temperatures ranging from 350 to 550°C, air velocities from 50 to 90 m/s, and exposure durations from 50 to 300 ms.
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