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Technical Paper

Quantification of Headlamp Degradation Due to Exposure to the Elements

It is well known that older vehicles’ headlight assemblies degrade with exposure to the elements and can become cloudy or crazed. It is also known that the degradation decreases the amount of useful light projected forward, which can drastically reduce night time or down-road visibility. Testing has been performed to measure the available light projected by old degraded headlamp assemblies and new replacement assemblies, to quantify the decrease in emitted light caused by the degradation. The work has been extended to quantify the improvement in available light when the degraded lenses are treated with commercially available restoration products. Five different vehicle headlamp assemblies representing four different manufacturers were tested measuring the illumination at a given distance with a modified Extech® illuminance meter.
Technical Paper

Implications of Manufacturers’ Bumper Ratings in Low Speed Collision Analysis

Evaluation of the severity of low speed motor vehicle crashes has been the subject of significant research for more than 25 years. These crashes typically result in little if any damage to the vehicles involved and therefore the ability to determine the threshold of damage would be very useful in analysis of such cases. One such threshold, which has been used by accident reconstructionists, is the manufacturer’s published bumper rating in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for vehicle bumpers. The rationale is that if there is any damage to the bumper system of the vehicle in question, the impact must have had a severity greater than the rated bumper speed. This paper examines the FMVSS bumper standards upon which the published bumper ratings are reportedly in compliance, historical low speed testing damage results, and engineering considerations of bumper damage in low speed impacts.