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Technical Paper

Accelerator-to-Brake Pedal Transition Movements during On-Road Stopping in an Older Population

Unintended acceleration events due to pedal misapplication have been shown to occur more frequently in older vs. younger drivers. While such occurrences are well documented, the nature of these movement errors is not well-characterized in common pedal error scenarios: namely, on-road, non-emergency stopping or slowing maneuvers. It is commonly assumed that drivers move in a ballistic or “direct hit” trajectory from the accelerator to the brake pedal. However, recent simulator studies show that drivers do not always move directly between pedals, with older drivers displaying more variable foot trajectories than younger drivers. Our study investigated pedal movement trajectories in older drivers ages 67.9 ± 5.2 years (7 males, 8 females) during on-road driving in response to variable traffic light conditions. Three different sedans and a pick-up truck were utilized.
Technical Paper

Steering Shaft Separation with a Collision Involved Heavy Duty Steering Gear

A crash of a medium duty truck led to a study of the failure mechanism of the truck’s steering system. The truck, after being involved in a multi-vehicle vehicle collision, was found with its steering input shaft disconnected from the steering gear. The question arose whether the steering gear failure was a result of the collision, or causative to the collision. An in-depth investigation was conducted into whether forces on the vehicle due to the collision could cause the steering shaft to separate from the steering gear. Additionally, the performance of the steering gear with the adjuster nut progressively backed off was studied to determine the feedback a driver would receive if the steering gear came progressively apart. From the results of these studies, conclusions with regard to the crash causation were reached.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Ejection Risk and Injury Distribution Using Data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)

Three years of data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) were analyzed to identify accidents involving heavy trucks (GVWR >10,000 lbs.). Risk of rollover and ejection was determined as well as belt usage rates. Risk of ejection was also analyzed based on rollover status and belt use. The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was used as an injury rating system for the involved vehicle occupants. These data were further analyzed to determine injury distribution based on factors such as crash type, ejection, and restraint system use. The maximum AIS score (MAIS) was analyzed and each body region (head, face, spine, thorax, abdomen, upper extremity, and lower extremity) was considered for an AIS score of three or greater (AIS 3+). The majority of heavy truck occupants in this study were belted (71%), only 2.5% of occupants were completely or partially ejected, and 28% experienced a rollover event.
Technical Paper

Steering Maneuver with Furrow-Tripped Rollovers of a Pickup and Passenger Car

Extensive testing has been conducted to evaluate both the dynamic response of vehicle structures and occupant protection systems in rollover collisions though the use of Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs). Rollover test methods that utilize a fixture to initiate the rollover event include the SAE2114 dolly, inverted drop tests, accelerating vehicle body buck on a decelerating sled, ramp-induced rollovers, and Controlled Rollover Impact System (CRIS) Tests. More recently, programmable steering controllers have been used with sedans, vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs to induce a rollover, primarily for studying the vehicle kinematics for accident reconstruction applications. The goal of this study was to create a prototypical rollover crash test for the study of vehicle dynamics and occupant injury risk where the rollover is initiated by a steering input over realistic terrain without the constraints of previously used test methods.
Journal Article

Heavy Truck Stability with a Trailing Axle Tire Blowout

Trailing axles, otherwise known as tag axles, are utilized in many states to allow heavy duty dump trucks and cement trucks to maximize their capacity. The trailing axle is an additional axle mounted on an arm on the rear of the truck that can be raised and lowered. When lowered, the axle extends the overall wheelbase of the vehicle and increases the total number of axles, thereby allowing for additional load to be carried without exceeding load-restriction regulations. There are multiple manufactures of trailing axles that utilize different suspension designs. One design uses an articulating axle that is mounted to the framework that lowers it. In this study, the sensitivity of this design to tire blowout on one of the trailing axle tires is studied. Testing was conducted that involved initiating a sudden air-loss event by creating a hole in the sidewall of the tire. The handling response of the vehicle was documented with on-board instrumentation and on-board and off-board video.
Journal Article

Full-scale Fire Tests of Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries

Fires involving cars, trucks, and other highway vehicles are a common concern for emergency responders. In 2013 alone, there were approximately 188,000 highway vehicle fires. Fire Service personnel are accustomed to responding to conventional vehicle (i.e., internal combustion engine [ICE]) fires, and generally receive training on the hazards associated with those vehicles and their subsystems. However, in light of the recent proliferation of electric drive vehicles (EDVs), a key question for emergency responders is, “what is different with EDVs and what tactical adjustments are required when responding to EDV fires?” The overall goal of this research program was to develop the technical basis for best practices for emergency response procedures for EDV battery incidents, with consideration for suppression methods and agents, personal protective equipment (PPE), and clean-up/overhaul operations.
Journal Article

Full-Scale Burn Test of a 2001 Full-Size Pickup Truck

Temperature measurements during a full-scale burn test of a 2001 full-size pickup truck showed that the fire progressed in distinct stages in both the engine and passenger compartments. Although the fire started in the engine compartment and had a relatively long growth period, when a localized area reached about 700°C, a distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of all engine compartment combustibles. As the engine compartment became fully involved, a hot gas layer then accumulated at the ceiling of the passenger compartment, producing a strong vertical temperature gradient. When the temperature at the ceiling reached about 600°C, another distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of the passenger compartment. The highest temperature during the test occurred within the engine compartment in an area that had the greatest fuel load, and not the area of origin.
Technical Paper

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) Handling and Control

Through testing conducted by multiple facilities, it has been observed that the class of compact two-person vehicles designed exclusively for off-road operation known as Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) exhibit a range of steady-state handling characteristics - including both understeer and understeer transitioning to oversteer as measured in circle-turn tests similar to those set forth in SAEJ266. This handling characteristic is different from on-road passenger cars and light trucks which, under all but heavy loading conditions, exhibit linear range and limit understeer steady-state cornering behavior. Limit understeer is considered desirable for on-road vehicles because it provides a directionally stable and generally predictable control response. In the research presented in this paper, the handling qualities, including controllability, of a ROV which was modified to have different steady-state handling characteristics ranging from understeer to oversteer is examined.
Technical Paper

Lug Nut Trace Analysis to Determine Velocity Ratio

When two vehicles contact in a side swipe collision, if one of the vehicles has lug nuts that protrude outboard of the wheel, gouge marks may be left in the other vehicle's exterior. Hereafter the marked vehicle will be referred to as the car and the vehicle with the lug nuts will be called the truck. If the car is stationary, the marks will be in the form of a curtate trochoid and will reveal no information about the speed of the truck. If the car is not stationary, analysis of the shape of the traces left on the side of the car by the lug nuts of the rotating truck wheel can determine the velocity ratio of the car to that of the truck. If the speed of either vehicle is known or can be determined using other information or accident reconstruction techniques, lug nut mark analysis will enable determination of the other vehicle's speed.