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Technical Paper

Fatal and Severe Injuries in Rear Impact; Seat Stiffness in Recent Field Accident Data

2008-04-14
2008-01-0193
A decade ago, James, et.al. published a detailed study of the available NASS data on severe rear impacts, with findings that “… stiffened or rigid seat backs will not substantially mitigate severe and fatal injuries in rear impacts.” No field accident study has since been advanced which refutes this finding. Advocates of rigidized seat backs often point to specific cases of severe rear impacts in which MAIS 4+ injuries are associated with seat back deformation, coupled with arguments supporting stiffer seatback designs. These arguments are generally based upon laboratory experiments with dummies in normal seating positions. Recent field accident data shows that generally, in collisions where the majority of societal harm is created, yielding seats continue to provide benefits, including those associated with whiplash associated disorders (WAD).
Technical Paper

Performance of Rear Seat Belt Restraints

2003-03-03
2003-01-0155
Field experience has consistently indicated that lap-only belts and lap-shoulder belts perform well and about equally in prevention of fatalities and serious injuries in the rear seating positions. Analyses based on overall usage and injury figures from the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS), double-pair analysis of FARS data, and still older data bases have shown that, in the rear outboard seating positions, injury rates are about the same for lap-only and lap-shoulder belted crash occupants. Although sparse, recently available field data from the 1988-2001 National Analysis Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) files confirm the finding that, when used by rear seat occupants, lap-only belts perform about equally with lap-shoulder belts as countermeasures for serious and fatal injury in severe frontal crashes.
Technical Paper

Design, Development and Testing of a Load-Sensing Crash Dummy Face

1984-02-01
840397
This project covers one facet of a program to develop a mechanical model for characterizing the time history of local forces on the zygomatic, maxillary and mandible regions of the human face during a frontal collision. Two mechanical devices to measure the forces on crash dummies during testing were designed, constructed and tested. The devices employed cantilever beams equipped with strain gauges. Both devices were subjected to a series of drop tests onto various materials. Time histories were compared to those obtained from cadaver experiments. While the data obtained from this testing appears to be similar to the cadaver data, further improvements and modifications will make the model much more useful.
Technical Paper

Crush Energy in Accident Reconstruction

1986-02-24
860371
Vehicle accident reconstruction methods based on deformation energy are argued to be an increasingly valuable tool to the accident reconstructionist, provided reliable data, reasonable analysis techniques, and sound engineering judgement accompany their use. The evolution of the CRASH model of vehicle structural response and its corresponding stiffness coefficients are reviewed. It is concluded that the deformation energy for an accident vehicle can be estimated using the CRASH model provided that test data specific to the accident vehicle is utilized. Published stiffness coefficients for vehicle size categories are generally not appropriate. For the purpose of estimating vehicle deformation energy, a straight-forward methodology is presented which consists of applying the results of staged crash tests. The process of translating crush profiles to estimates of vehicle deformation energies and velocities is also discussed.
Technical Paper

The Assessment of the Societal Benefit of Side Impact Protection

1990-02-01
900379
This paper summarizes work relating to the assessment of societal benefits of side impact protection. National Crash Severity Study (NCSS) and National Accident Sampling System (NASS) accident data technigues were reviewed with respect to the reliability of output information concerning the distribution of side impact accidents by impact severity and relationships between injury and impact severity. NCSS and NASS are confounded by errors and inadequacies, primarily as a result of improper accident reconstruction based upon the CRASH computer program. Based on review of several sample cases, it is believed that the NCSS/NASS files underestimate Lower severities and overestimate higher severities in side impact, with delta-V errors probably overestimated by 25-30 percent in the case of the more serious accidents. These errors cannot be properly quantified except on a case-by-case basis. They introduce unknown biases into NCSS/NASS.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact Response of Live Porcine Subjects

1976-02-01
760823
Five anesthetized porcine subjects were exposed to blunt thoracic impact using a 21 kg mass with a flat contact surface traveling at 3.0 to 12.2 m/s. The experiments were conducted to assess the appropriateness of studying in vivo mechanical and physiological response to thoracic impact in a porcine animal model. A comprehensive review of comparative anatomy between the pig and man indicates that the cardiovascular, respiratory and thoracic skeletal systems of the pig are anatomically and functionally a good parallel of similar structures in man. Thoracic anthropometry measurements document that the chest of a 50 to 60 kg pig is similar to the 50th percentile adult male human, but is narrower and deeper. Peak applied force and chest deflection are in good agreement between the animal's responses and similar impact severity data on fresh cadavers.
Technical Paper

Occupant Protection in Rear-end Collisions: II. The Role of Seat Back Deformation in Injury Reduction

1991-10-01
912914
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently opened a rulemaking docket seeking comments on the design of automobile seats and their performance in rear Impacts. There are two philosophies of seat design: one advocates rigid seats, the other advocates seats which yield in a controlled manner. A review of the legislative history of seat back design standards indicates that yielding seats have historically been considered a better approach for passenger cars. The design characteristics of current production automobile seats are evaluated and show no significant changes over the past three decades. Concerns about the performance of rigid seat backs in real world rear impacts are discussed, specifically increased injury exposure due to ramping, rebound and out-of-position occupants.
Technical Paper

Occupant Protection in Rear-end Collisions: I. Safety Priorities and Seat Belt Effectiveness

1991-10-01
912913
Recent detailed field accident data are examined with regard to injuries associated with rear impacts. The distribution of “Societal Harm” associated with various injury mechanisms is presented, and used to evaluate the performance of current seat back and restraint system designs. Deformation associated with seat back yield is shown to be beneficial in reducing overall Societal Harm in rear impacts. The Societal Harm associated with ejection and contact with the vehicle rear interior (the two injury mechanisms addressed by a rigid seat approach), is shown to be minimal. The field accident data also confirm that restraint usage in rear impacts has a substantial injury-reducing effect. Laboratory tests and computer simulations were run to investigate the mechanism by which seat belts protect occupants in rear impacts.
Technical Paper

Injury and Intrusion in Side Impacts and Rollovers

1984-02-01
840403
The relationship between occupant crash injury and occupant compartment intrusion is seen in the perspectives of the velocity-time analysis and the NCSS statistical data for two important accident injury modes, lateral and rollover collisions. Restraint system use, interior impacts, and vehicle design features are considered. Side impact intrusion is analyzed from physical principles and further demonstrated by reference to staged collisions and NCSS data. Recent publications regarding findings of the NCSS data for rollovers, as well as the NCSS data itself, are reviewed as a background for kinematic findings regarding occupant injury in rollovers with roof crush.
Technical Paper

Friction Applications in Accident Reconstruction

1983-02-01
830612
The determination of appropriate friction coefficient values is an important aspect of accident reconstruction. Tire-roadway friction values are highly dependent on a variety of physical factors. Factors such as tire design, side force limitations, road surface wetness, vehicle speed, and load shifting require understanding if useful reconstruction calculations are to be made. Tabulated experimental friction coefficient data are available, and may be improved upon in many situations by simple testing procedures. This paper presents a technical review of basic concepts and principles of friction as they apply to accident reconstruction and automobile safety. A brief review of test measurement methods is also presented, together with simple methods of friction measurement to obtain more precise values in many situations. This paper also recommends coefficient values for reconstruction applications other than tire- roadway forces.
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