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Technical Paper

Development and Design of Thor-Lx: The Thor Lower Extremity

1999-10-10
99SC09
A new lower extremity has been developed to be used with Thor, the NHTSA Advanced Frontal Dummy. The new lower extremity, known as Thor-Lx, consists of the femur, tibia, ankle joints, foot, a representation of the Achilles' tendon and the associated flash/skins, it has been designed to improve biomechanical response under axial loading of the femur during knee impacts, axial loading of the tibia, static and dynamic dorsiflexion, static plantarflexion and inversion/aversion. Instrumentation includes a standard Hybrid ill femur load cell, accelerometers, load cells, and rotary potentiometers to capture relevant kinematic and dynamic information from the foot and tibia. The design also allows the Tnor-Lx to be attached to the Hybrid III, either at the hip, or at the knee.
Technical Paper

Comparative Performance Testing of Passenger Cars Relative to Fmvss 214 and the Ue 96/Ec/27 Side Impact Regulations: Phase I

1998-05-31
986168
Based on a long recognized need, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun to reexamine the potential for international harmonization of side impact requirements. To this end, NHTSA, as directed by the U.S. Congress, has recently submitted a report to the Congress on the agency plans for achieving harmonization of the U.S. and European side impact regulations. The first phase of this plan involves crash testing vehicles compliant to FMVSS 214 to the European Union side impact directive 96/27/EC. This paper presents the results to date of this research. The level of safety performance of the vehicles based on the injury measures of the European and U.S. side impact regulations is assessed.
Technical Paper

AN ANALYSIS OF NCAP SIDE IMPACT CRASH DATA

1998-05-31
986235
Since 1990, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented a dynamic side impact compliance test. This compliance test, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, is a nearly right angle side impact in which the striking vehicle moves at 53.6 kmph into the struck vehicle. In 1997, NHTSA began testing passenger cars in side impact in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). In the USA NCAP side impact, the striking vehicle is towed at a 8 kmph higher speed than in the compliance test. An analysis has begun on the data from the first NCAP side impact tests, thirty-two in number. In the crashes, accelerometers were installed in the door and door frames of the struck vehicle. Using the accelerometers on the vehicle structure and in the side impact dummy, the crash event was investigated. One tool used in the investigation was the velocity-versus-time diagram.
Technical Paper

Restraint Robustness in Frontal Crashes

2007-04-16
2007-01-1181
The protection of a vehicle occupant in a frontal crash is a combination of vehicle front structural design and occupant restraint design. Once chosen and manufactured, these design features must interact with a wide variety of structural characteristics in potential crash partners. If robust, the restraint design will provide a high level of protection for a wide variety of crash conditions. This paper examines how robust a given restraint system is for occupant self-protection and how frontal design can improve the restraint performance of potential crash partners, thus improving their restraint robustness as well. To examine restraint robustness in self protection, the effect of various vehicle deceleration characteristics on occupant injury potential is investigated for a given restraint design. A MADYMO model of a 1996 Taurus interior and its restraint system with a Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy are simulated and subjected to 650 crash pulses taken during 25 years of U.S.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Trauma Assessment Formulations for Restrained Drivers in Simulated Frontal Impacts

1994-11-01
942206
Sixty-three simulated frontal impacts using cadaveric specimens were performed to examine and quantify the performance of various contemporary automotive restraint systems. Test specimens were instrumented with accelerometers and chest bands to characterize their mechanical responses during the impact. The resulting thoracic injury severity was determined using detailed autopsy and was classified using the Abbreviated Injury Scale. The ability of various mechanical parameters and combinations of parameters to assess the observed injury severities was examined and resulted in the observation that belt restraint systems generally had higher injury rates than air bag restraint systems for the same level of mechanical responses. To provide better injury evaluations from observed mechanical parameters without prior knowledge of what restraint system was being used, a dichotomous process was developed.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Car-to-Car Frontal Offset Impact Finite Element Models Using Full Scale Crash Data

1995-02-01
950650
This paper describes the results of a study conducted to evaluate the performance and accuracy of a medium size sedan finite element model for off-set car-to-car impacts. This model was originally developed for front impact and does not include side structure compliance. Two tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are used for evaluation of the simulations. The overall results indicate that the simulations appear to be consistent with the crash test data. Problems associated with the use of node constraints, lack of side structure model fidelity, and the different integration time marching are identified and solutions for the problems are proposed.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program:Five Star Rating System and Vehicle Safety Performance Characteristics

1995-02-01
950888
In the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), beginning with the model year 1994 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and adopted a simplified nonnumeric format for presenting the comparative frontal crashworthiness safety information to consumers. This paper presents the basis for the development of this “star rating” system. The injury probability functions which are used for the star rating system are also applied to the results of the recent NCAP real-world correlation studies and a review of these studies is given. The safety performance for restrained occupants as measured in NCAP is dependent on several parameters which include: the design of the restraint system, the maintenance of the integrity of the occupant space, and the energy management performance of the front structure.
Technical Paper

Response of the Eurosid-1 Thorax to Lateral Impact

1999-03-01
1999-01-0709
The Eurosid-1 dummy was subjected to a series of lateral and oblique pendulum impacts to study the anomalous “flat-top” thorax deflection versus time-histories observed in full-scale vehicle tests. The standard Eurosid-1, as well as two different modified versions of the dummy, were impacted at 6 different angles from -15 to +20 degrees (0 degrees is pure lateral) in the horizontal plane. The flat-top deflections were observed in the tests with the standard Eurosid-1, while one of the modified versions reduced the flat-top considerably. Full scale vehicle tests with the standard and modified Eurosid-1 suggest similar reductions. A second series of tests was conducted on the modified Eurosid-1 to investigate the effect of door surface friction on the shoulder rotation and the chest deflection. The data suggested that increasing the friction on the door surface impeded shoulder rotation and ultimately reduced the chest deflection in the Eurosid-1.
Technical Paper

Deployment of Air Bags into the Thorax of an Out-of-Position Dummy

1999-03-01
1999-01-0764
The air bag has proven effective in reducing fatalities in frontal crashes with estimated decreases ranging from 11% to 30% depending on the size of the vehicle [IIHS-1995, Kahane-1996]. At the same time, some air bag designs have caused fatalities when front-seat passengers have been in close proximity to the deploying air bag [Kleinberger-1997]. The objective of this study was to develop an accurate and repeatable out-of-position test fixture to study the deployment of air bags into out-of-position occupants. Tests were performed with a 5th percentile female Hybrid III dummy and studied air bag loading on the thorax using draft ISO-2 out-of-position (OOP) occupant positioning. Two different interpretations of the ISO-2 positioning were used in this study. The first, termed Nominal ISO-2, placed the chin on the steering wheel with the spine parallel to the steering wheel.
Technical Paper

Automotive Recorder Research - A Summary of Accident Data and Test Results

1974-02-01
740566
The NHTSA has developed automotive recorders which can measure crash triaxial acceleration/time histories during vehicle collisions. From these acceleration histories (recorded on a magnetic disc), velocity/time histories and velocity change during impact are derived to provide measures of vehicle crash severity. The purpose of developing these recorders is to provide accurate and quantitative relationships of vehicle crash severity with occupant fatalities and serious injuries from real-world accidents. To date, a total of 1200 disc recorders has been produced, approximately 1050 recorders have been installed in fleet vehicles, and 23 accident records have been analyzed. This paper has been prepared to present the progress made in the Disc Recorder Pilot Project as of March 31, 1974. Recorder data from accidents involving vehicles equipped with disc recorders will be discussed and compared with associated reports by accident investigators.
Technical Paper

Pedestrian Injuries and the Downsizing of Cars

1983-02-01
830050
The Pedestrian Injury Causation Study (PICS) is used to investigate the relations between car weight and pedestrian injuries in frontal accidents. As car curb weight decreased, large changes in overall severity are not observed, although the proportion of head injuries increases. Since contacts of the windshield area are more common in smaller cars, they are studied in detail.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Pedestrian Kinematics and Injuries in Staged Impact Tests with Cadavers and Mathematical 2D Simulations

1983-02-01
830186
The paper presents a comparison of kinematic responses between the MVMA-2D and the MAC-DAN pedestrian models and pedestrian cadaver kinematics observed in staged car/pedestrian impact tests. The paper also discusses the injuries experienced in the cadaver tests. Seven cadaver specimens in the standing posture were impacted at 25 mph by two different cars: one having a steel bumper and the other having a plastic bumper. The MVMA-2D and MAC-DAN mathematical pedestrian models were employed to simulate pedestrian impacts at 25 mph by a vehicle with a stylized geometry that is similar to the vehicles used in cadaver tests. Comparison of the simulations and the cadaver tests show that both models require further refinement to be able to more accurately simulate the kinematics of the lower legs during impacts with the vehicle bumper.
Technical Paper

Traffic Safety Trends and Forecasts

1984-04-01
840880
Motor vehicle fatalities are expected to continue their long term upward trend for the remainder of the 1980 decade to an annual rate of approximately 50,000 by 1990. The assumptions upon which this projection is based include a greater number of vehicles and drivers, increased travel and a higher rate of economic growth. Although the absolute number of fatalities is expected to increase, private and public safety efforts will result in a continuing decline in fatality risks per unit of travel.
Technical Paper

Traffic Related Disabilities and Impairments and Their Economic Consequences

1986-02-24
860505
A study was made of the incidence of traffic related injuries, the related disability and impairment, and the resulting economic consequences. Crash data covering the incidence of injuries and their distribution by injury type and severity show that nearly three and a half million persons per year are injured in traffic crashes, with roughly half of them experiencing at least one day of disability. Brain and spinal cord injuries, both believed to have long term consequences, were examined in greater detail. Epidemiological data covering these injuries indicate about 60,000 persons suffer disabling brain injuries and about 4,000 persons suffer disabling spinal cord injuries each year. These are significantly larger incidence values for these two injury types than shown by the crash data. There is little quantatative data on the disability and impairment resulting from traffic crashes, nor is there agreement on how to report such data.
Technical Paper

Improvements in the Simulation of Unrestrained Passengers in Frontal Crashes Using Vehicle Test Data

1986-02-24
860654
The absence of data on the load deflection and energy absorption characteristics of vehicle interiors has been a factor which limits the accuracy of crash victim simulations. A recent test program conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed data on the interactions of dashboards and knee panels with chests and knees. This paper summarizes the test results for several vehicles and shows how these results are used in simulating vehicle crash tests. Comparisons between crash tests and computer reconstruction using the 3-Dimensional Crash Victim Simulator (CVS-3D) for a late model car are included. The simulation shows good agreement with test and illustrates the application of available static and dynamic test data to improve occupant simulations.
Technical Paper

A Simple, Practical Method of Assessing Foam Padding Materials for Head Impact Protection

1986-02-24
860199
Since 1960 head impact responses under the action of various forces have been studied analytically. However, the effects of force distribution upon head injury mechanisms have not been studied because measurements of force distribution during head impacts have not been experimentally available. In the past, several methods were tested in order to measure head contact pressure, but the results were not very useful. Since the skull is a composite shell structure, the thin shell theory may be valid for stress analysis. According to the theory, the influence of an external load on a shell element damps out rapidly as the distance between the load and the element increases. Stress concentrations occur in the shell elements directly under the center core area of a localized external load. Therefore, the force on the center core, not the entire force distribution, is critical for the assessment of skull responses.
Technical Paper

Two New Areas Concerning Side impact Protection for Passenger Car Occupants

1987-05-01
871114
In vehicle crash accidents, approximately 27% to 30% of passenger car occupant casualties are attributed to side impact accidents. The annual death toll in side impacts for passenger car occupants reached 9,000 in 1975 and 1976 and has been between 7,000 and 8,000 in the 1980's. Since 1977, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and many other groups have conducted a significant amount of research on occupant side impact protection with emphasis on thorax injury reduction. Three important problem areas in the side impact are (1) thorax-to-side interior impact, (2) head impacts with A-pillar/roof rail components and (3) occupant ejection through side doors/windows. While the first problem area has been thoroughly studied, the remaining two areas are seldom discussed and less well understood. Therefore, they are relatively new areas to many people.
Technical Paper

1974 Accident Experience with Air Cushion Restraint Systems

1975-02-01
750190
An air cushion restraint system has been available to the public on certain model passenger cars since January 1974. In response to this opportunity to obtain field experience, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established a nationwide reporting network and investigative capability for accidents involving air-bag equipped cars. The reporting criteria for accidents require that the car be towed as a result of the accident, or that a front-seat occupant was injured, or that bag deployment occurred. The principal objective is to obtain the injury-reducing effectiveness of this restraint system in the total accident environment. This environment encompasses “towaway” accidents resulting in bag deployment and non-deployment. Definitive results are expected at the conclusion of the study. This paper summarizes the experience during the first year of the program, during which time the rate of accident occurrence was far less than originally expected.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Child Safety Seats Based on Sled Tests

1987-11-01
872210
The injury reducing effectiveness of child safety seats in frontal crashes was evaluated, based on 36 frontal or oblique sled tests run with two or more GM three-year-old dummies in the simulated passenger compartment of a car. Unrestrained, correctly restrained and incorrectly restrained dummies were tested at the range of speeds where most nonminor injuries occur (15-35 mph). Accident data from NHTSA files were used to calibrate a relationship between the front-seat unrestrained dummies' HIC and unrestrained children's risk of serious head injuries; also between torso g's and the risk of serious torso injuries. These relationships were used to predict injury risk for the restrained children as a function of crash speed and to compare it to the risk for unrestrained children. The sled test analysis predicted that the 1984 mix of correctly and incorrectly used safety seats reduced serious injury risk by 40 percent relative to the unrestrained child, in frontal crashes.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury Patterns in Crashes with Airbag Equipped Government Sponsored Cars

1987-11-01
872216
In 1983, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated two air hag vehicle fleet programs. The objective was to demonstrate that both original equipment and retrofit air bag systems operate in vehicles as intended. As of July 1, 1987, the two fleets together have accumulated over 200 million miles. Data are presented for 112 crashes involving air bag deployment in these government sponsored fleet vehicles in service between 1984 and July 1, 1987. Of the 112 drivers involved in the crashes, 103 sustained either no injury or only minor (AIS 1)[1]1 injuries. Of the nine remaining cases, six were AIS 2 and three AIS 3. To date, the limited data indicate that the air bag deployed as expected in all frontal crashes severe enough to require occupant restraint beyond that provided by the vehicle interior. Additionally, in collisions in which the air bag did not deploy, the crashes were of such low severity that no actuation was expected and none took place.
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