Using Shoulder Bolster and Knee Bolster to Achieve Protection Effect Comparable to Seatbelt and Airbag
Seatbelt and airbags provide effective occupant restraint, but are also potential to induce intrusive deformation and submarining injuries in motor vehicle crashes. To address these issues, this study puts forward a new restraint concept that applies restraint loads on shoulders and knees/femurs, i.e., the sturdiest regions of human body, via a combined use of shoulder bolster and knee bolster based on biomechanical computational analysis. The load characteristics of the two bolsters were optimized to obtain protection effectiveness superior to conventional use of seatbelt and airbag. Occupant kinematics and kinetics were taken into account, including the excursions of head, shoulders and knees, the accelerations of head and chest, and the compressions of thorax on several locations on the ribcage. The injury risk of rib fractures was monitored based on the strain levels of ribcage.