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Technical Paper

Frontal Impact Rear Seatbelt Load Marks: An In-Depth Analysis

Forensic evidence left behind in the form of markings on the seatbelt system can reveal details of how the belt system was being used and how it performed in a collision. Information about how belt systems are being used and how they perform in the field is useful to the design engineer, but interpreting this forensic evidence can be very difficult. Most studies to date have looked at the evidence left behind after a collision simply to determine if the seat belt was being used. This study undertakes the next step and addresses the question of how the belt system was being used. Test data is also presented to allow investigators to determine if the retractor locked and remained locked during the collision or if it spooled out during the collision. The results of 22 HYGE sled tests were analyzed to investigate the types and patterns of marks left behind.
Technical Paper

Seatback Strength as a Predictor of Serious Injury Risk to Belted Drivers and Rear Seat Occupants in Rear-Impact Crashes

This paper updates the findings of prior research addressing the relationship between seatback strength and likelihood of serious injury/fatality to belted drivers and rear seat occupants in rear-impact crashes. Statistical analyses were performed using 1995-2014 CY police-reported crash data from seventeen states. Seatback strength for over 100 vehicle model groupings (model years 1996-2013) was included in the analysis. Seatback strength is measured in terms of the maximum moment that results in 10 inches of seat displacement. These measurements range from 5,989 in-lbs to 39,918 in-lbs, resulting in a wide range of seatback strengths. Additional analysis was done to see whether Seat Integrated Restraint Systems (SIRS) perform better than conventional belts in reducing driver and rear seat occupant injury in rear impacts. Field data shows the severe injury rate for belted drivers in rear-impact crashes is less than 1%.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Body Mounted Shoulder Seat Belt Anchor (D-Ring) Displacement During Dynamic Vehicle-to-Ground Impacts

For more than 30 years, field research and laboratory testing have consistently demonstrated that properly wearing a seat belt dramatically reduces the risk of occupant death or serious injury in motor vehicle crashes. In severe rollover crashes, deformation to vehicle body structures can relocate body-mounted seat belt anchors altering seat belt geometry. In particular, roof pillar mounted shoulder belt anchors (“D-rings”) are subject to vertical and lateral deformation in the vehicle coordinate system. The ROllover Component test System (ROCS) test device was utilized to evaluate seat belt system performance in simulated severe rollover roof-to-ground impacts. A mechanical actuator was designed to dynamically relocate the D-ring assembly during a roof-to-ground impact event in an otherwise rigid test vehicle fixture. Anthropomorphic test device (ATD) kinematics and kinetics and seat belt tensions were compared between tests with and without D-ring relocation.
Technical Paper

Stiff versus Yielding Seats: Analysis of Matched Rear Impact Tests

The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from KARCO rear impact tests and to evaluate an injury predictive model based on crash severity and occupant weight presented by Saczalski et al. (2004). The KARCO tests were carried out with various seat designs. Biomechanical responses were evaluated in speed ranges of 7-12, 13-17, 18-23 and 24-34 mph. For this analysis, all tests with matching yielding and stiff seats and matching occupant size and weight were analyzed for cases without 2nd row occupant interaction. Overall, the test data shows that conventional yielding seats provide a high degree of safety for small to large adult occupants in rear crashes; this data is also consistent with good field performance as found in NASS-CDS. Saczalski et al.'s (2004) predictive model of occupant injury is not correct as there are numerous cases from NASS-CDS that show no or minor injury in the region where serious injury is predicted.
Technical Paper

Rear Impact Tests of Starcraft-Type Seats with Out-of-Position and In-Position Dummies

Objective: This study analyzed available rear impact sled tests with Starcraft-type seats that use a diagonal belt behind the seatback. The study focused on neck responses for out-of-position (OOP) and in-position seated dummies. Methods: Thirteen rear sled tests were identified with out-of-position and in-position 5 th , 50 th and 95 th Hybrid III dummies in up to 47.6 mph rear delta Vs involving Starcraft-type seats. The tests were conducted at Ford, Exponent and CSE. Seven KARCO rear sled tests were found with in-position 5 th and 50 th Hybrid III dummies in 21.1-29.5 mph rear delta Vs involving Starcraft-type seats. In all of the in-position and one of the out-of-position series, comparable tests were run with production seats. Biomechanical responses of the dummies and test videos were analyzed.
Technical Paper

Occupant Responses in High-Speed Rear Crashes: Analysis of Government-Sponsored Tests

The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from FMVSS 301-type rear impact tests. Rear impact test data was obtained from NHTSA and consisted of dummy responses, test observations, photos and videos. The data was organized in four test series: 1) NCAP series of 30 New Car Assessment Program tests carried out at 35 mph with 1979-1980 model year vehicles, 2) Mobility series of 14 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1993 model year vehicles, 3) 301 MY 95+ series of 79 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1995-2005 model year vehicles and 4) ODB series of 17 Offset Deformable Barrier tests carried out at 50 mph with a 70% overlap using 1996-1999 model year vehicles. The results indicate very good occupant performance in yielding seats in the NCAP, Mobility and 301 MY 95+ test series.
Journal Article

Relationship between Seatback Stiffness/Strength and Risk of Serious/Fatal Injury in Rear-Impact Crashes

To determine the relationship between seatback stiffness or strength and the likelihood of serious/fatal injury for drivers and rear seat occupants in rear-impact crashes, analyses were performed using 1995-2006 police-reported crash data from eleven states. Seatback stiffness and strength data was included for 29 different seatback designs used in 40 vehicle models (model years 1995-2006). Results indicate there is no statistically significant relationship between seatback stiffness or strength and the risk of serious/fatal injury in rear-impact crashes. Factors shown to have statistically significant effect on the likelihood of serious/fatal injury in rear-impact collisions include occupant age, gender, and alcohol impairment; vehicle type; and vehicle mass ratio.
Technical Paper

FRED II Quasistatic Seat Testing Rearward: An Improved Method Based on the SAE H-point Manikin

Various methods have been used to load a seat in the rear direction, including FMVSS 207, assorted body blocks and QST (quasistatic seat test). However, each method lacks some critical aspect of occupant loading of the seat or is too complex for routine development work. A new method is presented to determine the strength and energy transfer of a seat to an occupant in rear impacts that reflects how an occupant interacts with the seat in a rear impact. A metal-cast H-point manikin, called FRED II, was modified to support a loading bar and was pulled rearward into the seatback by a hydraulic ram. The force and displacement of the loading and the inboard and outboard seatback angle were measured. The response of the seat was recorded by video. The moment about the recliner pivot at peak force was determined by aligning the center of the recliner in side views of the seat position initially and at peak load.
Technical Paper

Seat Performance and Occupant Moving Out of the Shoulder Belt in ABTS (All-Belts-to-Seat) in Rear Impacts

This study examined occupant and seat responses with ABTS (all-belts-to-seat) in rear end collisions. Some have claimed improved ABTS seat performance and retention in rear impacts than conventional seats. ABTS seats tend to have higher ultimate yield strengths than conventional yielding seats. Most ABTS seats have asymmetric seatback stiffness due to the need for additional structure on one side of the seat to support shoulder belt loads. Many designs use a single-side recliner and single stanchion that anchors the D-ring. This asymmetry results in twisting of the seatback in severe rear impacts. Seatback twist can allow the occupant to move away from the shoulder belt. Rearward pull tests on ABTS seats also demonstrates seatback twisting and in some cases large drops in load during the test. The added strength and stiffness of ABTS seats lead to designs that are vulnerable to sudden force drops from separated parts.