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Technical Paper

Foot and Ankle Injuries to Drivers in Between-Rail Crashes

The research question investigated in this study is what are the key attributes of foot and ankle injury in the between-rail frontal crash? For the foot and ankle, what was the type of interior surface contacted and the type of resulting trauma? The method was to study with in-depth case reviews of NASS-CDS cases where a driver suffered an AIS=2 foot or ankle injury in between-rail crashes. Cases were limited to belted occupants in vehicles equipped with air bags. The reviews concentrated on coded and non-coded data, identifying especially those factors contributing to the injuries of the driver's foot/ankle. This study examines real-world crash data between the years 1997-2009 with a focus on frontal crashes involving 1997 and later model year vehicles. The raw data count for between-rail crashes was 732, corresponding to 227,305 weighted, tow-away crashes.
Technical Paper

Evaluating Frontal Crash Test Force-Deformation Data for Vehicle to Vehicle Frontal Crash Compatibility

Vehicle stiffness is one of the three major factors in vehicle to vehicle compatibility in a frontal crash; the other two factors are vehicle mass and frontal geometry. Vehicle to vehicle compatibility in turn is an increasingly important topic due to the rapid change in the size and characteristics of the automotive fleet, particularly the increase of the percentage of trucks and SUVs. Due to the non-linear nature of the mechanics of vehicle structure, frontal stiffness is not a properly defined metric. This research is aimed at developing a well defined method to quantify frontal stiffness for vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility. The method to be developed should predict crash outcome and controlling the defined metric should improve the crash outcome. The criterion that is used to judge the aggressivity of a vehicle in this method is the amount of deformation caused to the vulnerable vehicles when crashed with the subject vehicle.
Technical Paper

Far-Side Impact Vehicle Simulations with MADYMO

To date, anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) have not been designed with consideration for human motion in far-side impacts. Previous tests with a cadaver and a BioSID dummy at the Medical College of Wisconsin confirmed that the dummy does not suitably model the human motion. To further evaluate different ATDs in far-side crashes, MAthematical DYnamic MOdeling (MADYMO) was employed. The modeling showed that the motion of a Hybrid III, BioSID, EuroSid1, EuroSID2, or SID2s did not accurately reflect the motion of a human cadaver under the same impact configurations as the cadaver test. The MADYMO human facet model was found to closely reproduce the kinematics of the cadaver test. The effect of varying console designs on occupant kinematics is presented in this paper. The human facet model appears to be a good interim tool for the evaluation of countermeasures in far-side crashes.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Frontal Stiffness in a Front to Front Crash

In the effort to understand and solve the frontal crash compatibility problem, one needs to use values of frontal stiffness. Various definitions of stiffness have been used in other studies based on measurements from NHTSA's 35mph frontal NCAP test. Those definitions varied from assuming a linear stiffness based on static crush to more refined ones that vary with time dependent crush. A major consideration in selecting a method is the amount of vehicle damage that occurs in an incompatible crash. To partially address this issue, a method was introduced based on the energy absorbed in a front to front crash at 25mph approach speed. Four alternative definitions of stiffness were studied.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuel Tanks for Pickups with Sidesaddle Tanks

Seventeen full-scale crash tests were conducted to evaluate technologies to reduce the vulnerability of sidesaddle tanks on full size GM pickup trucks manufactured during the period 1973-1987. These vehicles were alleged by the U.S. Department of Transportation to be vulnerable in severe side impacts. The test program was intended to evaluate designs that would reduce vulnerability in all crash directions. The best test results were obtained by two strategies that relocated the tank to less vulnerable locations. The two locations were: (1) in the cargo bed (bed mounted tank) and (2) underneath the bed, ahead of the rear axle and between the frame rails (center-mounted tank). Tanks mounted in these locations were subjected to a series of crash tests that simulated severe front, side, rear and rollover crashes. The crash environment for these tests was more severe than required by FMVSS 301 “Fuel System Integrity”.
Technical Paper

Side Impact Injury Risk for Belted Far Side Passenger Vehicle Occupants

In a side impact, the occupants on both the struck, or near side, of the vehicle and the occupants on the opposite, or far side, of the vehicle are at risk of injury. Since model year 1997, all passenger cars in the U.S. have been required to comply with FMVSS No. 214, a safety standard that mandates a minimum level of side crash protection for near side occupants. No such federal safety standard exists for far side occupants. The mechanism of far side injury is believed to be quite different than the injury mechanism for near side injury. Far side impact protection may require the development of different countermeasures than those which are effective for near side impact protection. This paper evaluates the risk of side crash injury for far side occupants as a basis for developing far side impact injury countermeasures. Based on the analysis of NASS/CDS 1993–2002, this study examines the injury outcome of over 4500 car, light truck, and van occupants subjected to far side impact.
Technical Paper

Using CIREN Data to Assess the Performance of the Second Generation of Air Bags

The U.S. Department of Transportation-sponsored Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) program offers a reasonable look at the efficacy of second-generation air bags. This paper examines the data from the William Lehman Injury Research Center (WLIRC). The WLIRC data is a near census of crashes in the Miami-Dade region with occupants that appear to be severely injured. The percentage of deaths among trauma patients in the WLIRC data as a function of delta-V for first-generation air bags was higher than expected at lower delta-V's. There were nine driver fatalities at delta-V's of less than 20 mph (four involving short stature occupants, four with elderly occupants, and one due to significant intrusion and/or vehicle incompatibility). The data supported NHTSA's conclusion that first-generation air bags were too aggressive for occupants in close proximity to the deploying air bag and too aggressive for older persons.
Technical Paper

Crashworthiness Safety Features in Rollover Crashes

Rollover crashes continue to be a serious and growing vehicle safety problem. Rollovers account for about 9% of passenger car crashes, and 26% of light truck crashes. Belt use in rollover crashes is about 51%, compared with 62% in planar crashes. Overall, 26.4% of the serious and fatal injuries to occupants exposed to crashes are in rollovers. Among this injured population 74.4% are unbelted. In light trucks, rollovers account for 47.4% of the serious or fatal injuries. Unbelted occupants suffer about 87% of the serious injuries and fatalities in light truck rollovers. The use of safety belts offers a dramatic reduction in injury rates for rollover crashes. For belted occupants of pickup trucks and utility vehicles in rollover crashes, the injury rates are about the same as for belted occupants of passenger cars in planar crashes. Improvementsts in safety belts offer large opportunities in safety.
Technical Paper

Effect of Occupant Position and Air Bag Inflation Parameters on Driver Injury Measures

This paper investigates the effects of driver airbag inflation characteristics, airbag relative position, airbag to dummy relative velocity, and steering column characteristics using a finite element model of a vehicle, air bag, and Hybrid III 50% male dummy. Simulation is conducted in a static test environment using a validated finite element model. Several static simulation tests are performed where the air bag module's position is mounted in a rigid steering wheel and the vertical and horizontal distances are varied relative to the dummy. Three vertical alignments are used: one position corresponds to the head centered on module, another position corresponds to the neck centered on module, and the third position centers the chest on the module. Horizontal alignments vary from 0 mm to 50 mm to 100 mm. All of these tests are simulated using a typical pre-1998 type inflation curve (mass flow rate of gas entering the bag).
Technical Paper

Simulation of Road Crash Facial Lacerations By Broken Windshields

The facial laceration test has been proposed as an addition to the dummy injury criteria of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. To better understand laceration conditions as they actually occur, three road crashes of increasing severity, all involving facial laceration by the broken (cracked) windshield and one involving partial ejection, have been simulated physically and analytically. The physical simulations used vehicle test bucks, the Hybrid III head with the chamois facial coverings of the facial laceration test, and a piston - constrained Head Impactor. Computer simulations of the three crashes were also carried out using the CALSPAN 3D “CVS” and the 2D “DRISIM” computer programs. The computer simulations provide insight into the effective mass of the head and body on windshield contact, and the forces, velocities, and accelerations involved.