Aggressivity-Reducing Structure of Large Vehicles in Side Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crash
Driver fatality rate of a passenger vehicle is considerably high when struck on the side by an LTV (light truck and van). Aggressivity of LTVs, particularly in side crashes, needs to be reduced to improve this incompatible situation. Crash energy absorption share of a passenger car struck on the side by an LTV was measured through component tests. As a result, B-pillar of the struck passenger car was found to receive most of the crash energy intensively. This intensive energy triggered large B-pillar deformation. Computer simulation proved that B-pillar deformation was closely related to occupant injury. The key to mitigate the injury of side-struck car occupant, therefore, is to disperse crash energy to other structural parts than B-pillar. Front-end structures of LTVs that realize crash energy dispersion were designed and examined. The structures include (a) optimization of the vehicle height, and (b) adoption of a forward-extended sub-frame.