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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

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

Evaluation of Seat Back Strength and Seat Belt Effectiveness in Rear End Impacts

1987-11-01
872214
The issues of front seat energy absorption and seat belt effectiveness are investigated first through the review of prior experimental and analytical studies of rear impact dynamics. These prior studies indicate that the current energy absorption characteristic of seats is a safety benefit. Prior efforts to construct a rigidized seat indicate that such designs are likely to be impractical due to excessive weight and cost. Additionally, these studies indicate that seat belts provide an important safety function in rear impacts. Static tests of production seats were conducted, added to an existing data base, and analyzed to better understand the strength and energy absorbing characteristics of production seats. Crash test results from the New Car Assessment Program as well as earlier test programs were analyzed to describe the response of occupants and seats in rear impact and the protective function of seat belts in such collisions.
Technical Paper

Rear Stiffness Coefficients Derived from Barrier Test Data

1991-02-01
910120
Rear impacts in the crash test data base compiled by the NHTSA are analyzed and compared to the CRASH3 rear stiffness coefficients. The CRASH3 values do not represent the test data adequately. This is because the values were derived from limited data, and because some of the rear moving barrier test data were miscoded as fixed barrier tests. A review of the larger NHTSA data base does not support the CRASH3 assumption that vehicles of similar size (wheelbase) have similar rear stiffness characteristics. Therefore, it is important when reconstructing individual accidents to use crash test data specific to the vehicles involved. Repeated rear fixed barrier test data on four vehicles are analyzed to study the data trend at speeds below and above the NHTSA test data. Constant stiffness and constant force models are compared and a combination of the two is shown to fit available test data.
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

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

Headroom, Roof Crush, and Belted Excursion in Rollovers

2005-04-11
2005-01-0942
Based upon a review of the literature and new test data, the human and vehicle factors leading to head-to-roof contact in rollovers are quantified and illustrated. Vehicle design countermeasures and suggested areas of research are presented. Higher and stronger roofs and improved restraints must be analyzed as a system to evaluate the potential benefits in rollovers.
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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