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Journal Article

Method for Estimating Time to Collision at Braking in Real-World, Lead Vehicle Stopped Rear-End Crashes for Use in Pre-Crash System Design

This study presents a method for determining the time to collision (TTC) at which a driver of the striking vehicle in a real-world, lead vehicle stopped (LVS) rear-end collision applied the brakes. The method employs real-world cases that were extracted from the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS / CDS) years 2000 to 2009. Selected cases had an Event Data Recorder (EDR) recovered from the striking vehicle that contained pre-crash vehicle speed and brake application. Of 59 cases with complete EDR records, 12 cases (20%) of drivers appeared not to apply the brakes at all prior to the collision. The method was demonstrated using 47 rear-end cases in which there was driver braking. The average braking deceleration for those cases with sufficient vehicle speed information was found to be 0.52 g's. The average TTC that braking was initiated at was found to vary in the sample population from 1.1 to 1.4 seconds.
Journal Article

Characterization of Lane Departure Crashes Using Event Data Recorders Extracted from Real-World Collisions

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is a production active safety system that can warn drivers of an unintended departure. Critical in the design of LDW and other departure countermeasures is understanding pre-crash driver behavior in crashes. The objective of this study was to gain insight into pre-crash driver behavior in departure crashes using Event Data Recorders (EDRs). EDRs are units equipped on many passenger vehicles that are able to store vehicle data, including pre-crash data in many cases. This study used 256 EDRs that were downloaded from GM vehicles involved in real-world lane departure collisions. The crashes were investigated as part of the NHTSA's NASS/CDS database years 2000 to 2011. Nearly half of drivers (47%) made little or no change to their vehicle speed prior to the collision and slightly fewer decreased their speed (43%). Drivers who did not change speed were older (median age 41) compared to those who decreased speed (median age 27).
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Technical Paper

Target Population for Injury Reduction from Pre-Crash Systems

Pre-Crash Systems (PCS) integrate the features of active and passive safety systems to reduce both crash and injury severity. Upon detection of an impending collision, PCS can provide an early warning to the driver and activate automatic braking to reduce the crash severity for the subject vehicle. PCS can also activate the seatbelt pretensioners prior to impact. This paper identifies the opportunities for injury prevention in crash types for which PCS can be potentially activated. These PCS applicable crash types include rear-end crashes, single vehicle crashes into objects (trees, poles, structures, parked vehicles), and head-on crashes. PCS can benefit the occupants of both the striking and struck vehicle. In this paper, the opportunity for injury reduction in the struck vehicle is also tabulated. The study is based upon the analysis of approximately 20,000 frontal crash cases extracted from NASS / CDS 1997-2008.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Traumatic Brain Injuries Using the Next Generation of Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) Finite Element Head Model

The objective of this study was to investigate potential for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) using a newly developed, geometrically detailed, finite element head model (FEHM) within the concept of a simulated injury monitor (SIMon). The new FEHM is comprised of several parts: cerebrum, cerebellum, falx, tentorium, combined pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) with cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), ventricles, brainstem, and parasagittal blood vessels. The model's topology was derived from human computer tomography (CT) scans and then uniformly scaled such that the mass of the brain represents the mass of a 50th percentile male's brain (1.5 kg) with the total head mass of 4.5 kg. The topology of the model was then compared to the preliminary data on the average topology derived from Procrustes shape analysis of 59 individuals. Material properties of the various parts were assigned based on the latest experimental data.
Technical Paper

Effects of Commercial Truck Configuration on Roll Stability in Roundabouts

This paper presents the results of a study on the effect of truck configurations on the roll stability of commercial trucks in roundabouts that are commonly used in urban settings with increasing frequency. The special geometric layout of roundabouts can increase the risk of rollover in high-CG vehicles, even at low speeds. Relatively few in-depth studies have been conducted on rollover stability of commercial trucks in roundabouts. This study uses a commercially available software, TruckSim®, to perform simulations on four truck configurations, including a single-unit truck, a WB-67 semi-truck, the combination of a tractor with double 28-ft trailers, and the combination of a tractor with double 40-ft trailers. A single-lane and multilane roundabout are modeled, both with a truck apron. Three travel movements through the roundabouts are considered, including right turn, through-movement, and left turn.
Technical Paper

A Simulation-Based Study on the Improvement of Semi-Truck Roll Stability in Roundabouts

This paper studies the effect of different longitudinal load conditions, roundabout cross-sectional geometry, and different semi-truck pneumatic suspension systems on roll stability in roundabouts, which have become more and more popular in urban settings. Roundabouts are commonly designed in their size and form to accommodate articulated heavy vehicles (AHVs) by evaluating such affects as off-tracking. However, the effect of the roadway geometry in roundabouts on the roll dynamics of semi-tractors and trailers are equally important, along with their entry and exit configuration. , Because the effect of the roundabout on the dynamics of trucks is further removed from the immediate issues considered by roadway planner, at times they are not given as much consideration as other roadway design factors.
Technical Paper

Has Electronic Stability Control Reduced Rollover Crashes?

Vehicle rollovers are one of the more severe crash modes in the US - accounting for 32% of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities annually. One design enhancement to help prevent rollovers is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which can reduce loss of control and thus has great promise to enhance vehicle safety. The objectives of this research were (1) to estimate the effectiveness of ESC in reducing the number of rollover crashes and (2) to identify cases in which ESC did not prevent the rollover to potentially advance additional ESC development. All passenger vehicles and light trucks and vans that experienced a rollover from 2006 to 2015 in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Database System (NASS/CDS) were analyzed. Each rollover was assigned a crash scenario based on the crash type, pre-crash maneuver, and pre-crash events.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Event Data Recorder Survivability in Crashes with Fire, Immersion, and High Delta-V

Event data recorders (EDRs) must survive regulatory frontal and side compliance crash tests if installed within a car or light truck built on or after September 1, 2012. Although previous research has shown that EDR data are surviving these tests, little is known about whether EDRs are capable of surviving collisions of higher delta-v, or crashes involving vehicle fire or immersion. The goal of this study was to determine the survivability of light vehicle EDRs in real world fire, immersion, and high change in velocity (delta-v) cases. The specific objective was to identify the frequency of these extreme events and to determine the EDR data download outcome when subject to damage caused by these events. This study was performed using three crash databases: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS), and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
Technical Paper

EcoRouting Strategy Using Variable Acceleration Rate Synthesis Methodology

This paper focuses on the analysis of an EcoRouting system with minimum and maximum number of conditional stops. The effect on energy consumption with the presence and absence of road-grade information along a route is also studied. An EcoRouting system has been developed that takes in map information and converts it to a graph of nodes containing route information such as speed limits, stop lights, stop signs and road grade. A variable acceleration rate synthesis methodology is also introduced in this paper that takes into consideration distance, acceleration, cruise speed and jerk rate as inputs to simulate driver behavior on a given route. A simulation study is conducted in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA to analyze the effects of EcoRouting in different driving conditions and to examine the effects of road grade and stop lights on energy consumption.
Technical Paper

Methodology for Estimating the Benefits of Lane Departure Warnings using Event Data Recorders

Road departures are one of the most deadly crash modes, accounting for nearly one third of all crash fatalities in the US. Lane departure warning (LDW) systems can warn the driver of the departure and lane departure prevention (LDP) systems can steer the vehicle back into the lane. One purpose of these systems is to reduce the quantity of road departure crashes. This paper presents a method to predict the maximum effectiveness of these systems. Thirty-nine (39) real world crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) database were reconstructed using pre-crash velocities downloaded for each case from the vehicle event data recorder (EDR). The pre-crash velocities were mapped onto the vehicle crash trajectory. The simulations assumed a warning was delivered when the lead tire crossed the lane line. Each case was simulated twice with driver reaction times of 0.38 s and 1.36 s after which time the driver began steering back toward the road.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Estimates of Near Side Crash Injury Risk in Best Performing Passenger Vehicles

The goal of this paper is to estimate near-side injury risk in vehicles with the best side impact performance in the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The longer-term goal is to predict the incidence of crashes and injury outcomes in the U.S. in a future fleet of the 2025-time frame after current active and passive safety countermeasures are fully implemented. Our assumption was that, by 2025, all new vehicles will have side impact passive safety performance equivalent to current U.S. NCAP five star ratings. The analysis was based on real-world crashes extracted from case years 2010-2015 in the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) in which front-row occupants of late-model vehicles (Model Year 2011+) were exposed to a near-side crash.
Journal Article

Validation of Event Data Recorders in Side-Impact Crash Tests

This study evaluated the accuracy of 75 Event Data Recorders (EDRs) extracted from model year 2010-2012 Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota vehicles subjected to side-impact moving deformable barrier crash tests. The test report and vehicle-mounted accelerometers provided reference values to assess the EDR reported change in lateral velocity (delta-v), seatbelt buckle status, and airbag deployment status. Our results show that EDRs underreported the reference lateral delta-v in the vast majority of cases, mimicking the errors and conclusions found in some longitudinal EDR accuracy studies. For maximum lateral delta-v, the average arithmetic error was −3.59 kph (−13.8%) and the average absolute error was 4.05 kph (15.9%). All EDR reports that recorded a seatbelt buckle status data element correctly recorded the buckle status at both the driver and right front passenger locations.