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Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

2009-11-02
2009-22-0002
Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: Kinematics and Injury of PMHS Restrained by a Standard 3-Point Belt in Frontal Crashes

2008-11-03
2008-22-0012
Very little experimental research has focused on the kinematics, dynamics, and injuries of rear-seated occupants. This study seeks to develop a baseline response for rear-seated post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) in frontal crashes. Three PMHS sled tests were performed in a sled buck designed to represent the interior rear-seat compartment of a contemporary midsized sedan. All occupants were positioned in the right-rear passenger seat and subjected to simulated frontal crashes with an impact speed of 48 km/h. The subjects were restrained by a standard, rear seat, 3-point seat belt. The response of each subject was evaluated in terms of whole-body kinematics, dynamics, and injury. All the PMHS experienced excessive forward translation of the pelvis resulting in a backward rotation of the torso at the time of maximum forward excursion.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Response of Belted PMHS, the Hybrid III, and the THOR-NT Mid-Sized Male Surrogates in Low-Speed, Frontal Crashes

2006-11-06
2006-22-0009
Injury to the thorax is the predominant cause of fatalities in crash-involved automobile occupants over the age of 65, and many elderly-occupant automobile fatalities occur in crashes below compliance or consumer information test speeds. As the average age of the automotive population increases, thoracic injury prevention in lower severity crashes will play an increasingly important role in automobile safety. This study presents the results of a series of sled tests to investigate the thoracic deformation, kinematic, and injury responses of belted post-mortem human surrogates (PMHS, average age 44 years) and frontal anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) in low-speed frontal crashes. Nine 29 km/h (three PMHS, three Hybrid III 50th% male ATD, three THOR-NT ATD) and three 38 km/h (one PMHS, two Hybrid III) frontal sled tests were performed to simulate an occupant seated in the right front passenger seat of a mid-sized sedan restrained with a standard (not force-limited) 3-point seatbelt.
Technical Paper

Structural and Material Changes in the Aging Thorax and Their Role in Crash Protection for Older Occupants

2005-11-09
2005-22-0011
The human body undergoes a variety of changes as it ages through adulthood. These include both morphological (structural) changes (e.g., increased thoracic kyphosis) and material changes (e.g., osteoporosis). The purpose of this study is to evaluate structural changes that occur in the aging bony thorax and to assess the importance of these changes relative to the well-established material changes. The study involved two primary components. First, full-thorax computed tomography (CT) scans of 161 patients, age 18 to 89 years, were analyzed to quantify the angle of the ribs in the sagittal plane. A significant association between the angle of the ribs and age was identified, with the ribs becoming more perpendicular to the spine as age increased (0.08 degrees/year, p=0.012). Next, a finite element model of the thorax was used to evaluate the importance of this rib angle change relative to other factors associated with aging.
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