The Effect of Pretensioning and Age on Torso Rollout in Restrained Human Volunteers in Far-Side Lateral and Oblique Loading
Far-side side impact loading of a seat belt restrained occupant has been shown to lead to torso slip out of the shoulder belt. A pretensioned seat belt may provide an effective countermeasure to torso rollout; however the effectiveness may vary with age due to increased flexibility of the pediatric spine compared to adults. To explore this effect, low-speed lateral (90°) and oblique (60°) sled tests were conducted using male human volunteers (20 subjects: 9-14 years old, 10 subjects: 18-30 years old), in which the crash pulse safety envelope was defined from an amusement park bumper-car impact. Each subject was restrained by a lap and shoulder belt system equipped with an electromechanical motorized seat belt retractor (EMSR) and photo-reflective targets were attached to a tight-fitting headpiece or adhered to the skin overlying key skeletal landmarks.