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Technical Paper

Load Path Considerations for Side Crash Compatibility

2007-04-16
2007-01-1176
Heavier, larger pickups and SUVs are bound to encounter lighter, smaller passenger vehicles in many future accidents. As the fleet has evolved to include more and more SUVs, their frontal structures are often indistinguishable from pickup fronts. Improvements in geometric compatibility features are crucial to further injury prevention progress in side impact. In corner crashes where modern bullet passenger car (PC) bumpers make appropriate geometrical overlap with target PC rocker panels, concentrated loads sometimes disrupt foam and plastic bumper corners, creating aggressive edges. In situations where sliding occurs along the structural interface, these sharp edges may slice through doors, panels and pillars. End treatments for such bumper beams should be designed to reduce this aggressive potential.
Technical Paper

Methods of Occupant Kinematics Analysis in Automobile Crashes

2002-03-04
2002-01-0536
Understanding occupant kinematics is an important part of accident reconstruction, particularly with respect to injury causation. Injuries are generally sustained as the occupant interacts with the vehicle interior surfaces and is rapidly accelerated to the struck component's post-impact velocity. This paper describes some methods for assessing occupant kinematics in a collision, and discusses their limitations. A useful technique is presented which is based on free-body analysis and can be used to establish an occupant's path of motion relative to the vehicle, locate the point of occupant contact, and determine the occupant's velocity relative to that contact location.
Technical Paper

Pulse Shape and Duration in Frontal Crashes

2007-04-16
2007-01-0724
Understanding of events within the history of a crash, and estimation of the severity of occupant interior collisions depend upon an accurate assessment of crash duration. Since this time duration is not measured independently in most crash test reports, it must usually be inferred from interpretations of acceleration data or from displacement data in high-speed film analysis. The significant physical effects related to the crash pulse are often essential in reconstruction analyses wherein the estimation of occupant interior “second collision” or airbag sensing issues are at issue. A simple relation is presented and examined which allows approximation of the approach phase and separation phase kinematics, including restitution and pulse width. Building upon previous work, this relation allows straightforward interpretation of test data from related publicly available test reports.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury in Rollover Crashes: A Reexamination of Malibu II

2007-04-16
2007-01-0369
The original Malibu II study, conducted by Bahling et al, found that neck compression loading in rollover crashes is caused by the occupant moving toward the ground and therefore, roof crush was not causally related to the loading. Some have disputed this finding claiming that the occupant does not “dive toward the roof,” but rather, the roof “moves in” toward the occupant, and that roof deformation is the primary cause of cervical spine injuries in rollover crashes. The original study included a detailed analysis of film and force transducer data for 10 Potentially Injurious Impacts (PII's). This paper presents an independent analysis of these 10 PII's and one additional PII. This analysis uses the film and transducer data to evaluate the timing of roof deformation and neck loading, the magnitude of roof deformation at the time of peak neck load, and the motion of the vehicle and occupants in the inertial reference system.
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

Roadway Asphalt Damage Force Analysis for Accident Reconstruction

2008-04-14
2008-01-0173
In reconstruction of on-roadway vehicle accidents, tire-road surface friction coefficient, mu (μ), can be estimated using a variety of available data. Common ranges and values for μ are used in calculations forming the foundation for most accident reconstruction techniques. When the roadway surface is gouged or disrupted by vehicle components, accounting of dissipated energy can be successful where supporting force data exists. Roadway gouge forces can vary widely depending upon such factors as road surface construction, surface temperature, and the velocity and geometry of the gouging mechanism. Such dissipated energy can be significant in accounting of total reconstruction energy. This paper presents experiments aimed at quantifying gouge force by controlled pavement gouging tests.
Technical Paper

Derivation of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Frontal Crash Pulse Estimates from Barrier Crash Data

2008-04-14
2008-01-0174
The BSAN crash pulse model has been shown to provide useful information for restraint sensing evaluation and for structural force-displacement studies in flat fixed rigid barrier (FFRB) crashes. This paper demonstrates a procedure by which the model may be extended for use with central and offset vehicle to vehicle (VTV) crashes through appropriate combinations of vehicle parameters.
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

Interrelationship of Velocity and Chest Compression in Blunt Thoracic Impact to Swine II

1986-10-27
861881
Results of two studies concerning the interrelationship of velocity, compression and injury in blunt thoracic impact to anesthetized swine have been combined to provide a data base of forty-one experiments. impact velocity ranged from ∼8-30 m/s and applied normalized chest compression from ∼0.10-0.30. Experimental subjects were suspended in the spine-horizontal position and loaded midsternally through a 150 mm diameter, flat rigid disk on an impacting mass propelled upward from below. Measurements and computations included sternal and spinal accelerations, intracardiovascular overpressures, physiological responses, injury, as assessed by necropsy, and different forms of the velocity and compression exposure severity parameters. The significance of both compression and velocity as parameters of impact exposure severity is clearly demonstrated. Qualitatively, exacerbation of injury was seen when either variable was increased with the other held constant.
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

Crash Protection in Near-Side Impact - Advantages of a Supplemental Inflatable Restraint

1989-02-01
890602
Collision Safety Engineering, Inc. (CSE), has developed a test prototype system to protect occupants during lateral impacts. It is an inflatable system that offers the potential of improved protection from thoracic, abdominal and pelvic injury by moving an impact pad into the occupant early in the crash. Further, it shows promise for head and neck protection by deployment of a headbag that covers the major target areas of B-pillar, window space, and roofrail before head impact. Preliminary static and full-scale crash tests suggest the possibility of injury reduction in many real-world crashes, although much development work remains before the production viability of this concept can be established. A description of the system and its preliminary testing is preceded by an overview of side impact injury and comments on the recent NHTSA Rule Making notices dealing with side-impact injury.
Journal Article

Vehicle and Occupant Responses in a Friction Trip Rollover Test

2009-04-20
2009-01-0830
Objective: A friction rollover test was conducted as part of a rollover sensing project. This study evaluates vehicle and occupant responses in the test. Methods: A flat dolly carried a Saab 9-3 sedan laterally, passenger-side leading to a release point at 42 km/h (26 mph) onto a high-friction surface. The vehicle was equipped with roll, pitch and yaw gyros near the center of gravity. Accelerometers were placed at the vehicle center tunnel, A-pillar near the roof, B-pillar near the sill, suspension sub-frame and wheels. Five off-board and two on-board cameras recorded kinematics. Hybrid III dummies were instrumented for head and chest acceleration and upper neck force and moment. Belt loads were measured. Results: The vehicle release caused the tires and then wheel rims to skid on the high-friction surface. The trip involved roll angular velocities >300 deg/s at 0.5 s and a far-side impact on the driver’s side roof at 0.94 s. The driver was inverted in the far-side, ground impact.
Technical Paper

Injury Mechanisms and Field Accident Data Analysis in Rollover Accidents

1997-02-24
970396
Rollover accidents are responsible for a significant percentage of crash injuries. Increasing seat belt restraint use is the most effective way to reduce rollover injuries. Injuries to restrained occupants are also of interest. It has been suggested that head/neck injuries are caused by roof crush, and that modification to roof structures and seat belt systems would lead to a substantial reduction in severe rollover injuries. Field accident data and rollover testing are used to evaluate the relationship between roof crush, seat belt design, and severe rollover injuries.
Technical Paper

Effect of Seat Stiffness in Out-of-Position Occupant Response in Rear-End Collisions

1996-11-01
962434
Accident data suggest that a significant percentage of rear impacts involve occupants seated in other than a “Normal Seated Position”. Pre-impact acceleration due to steering, braking or a prior frontal impact may cause the driver to move away from the seat back prior to impact. Nevertheless, virtually all crash testing is conducted with dummies in the optimum “Normal Dummy Seated Position”. A series of 7 rear impact sled tests, having a nominal AV of 21 mph, with Hybrid III dummies positioned in the “Normal Dummy Seated Position”, “Out of Position” and slightly “Out of Position” is presented. Tests were performed on yielding production Toyota and Mercedes Benz seats as well as on a much stiffer modified Ford Aerostar seat. Available Hybrid III upper and lower neck as well as torso instrumentation was used to analyze and compare injury potential for each set of test parameters.
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

Inaccuracies in the CRASHS Program

1985-02-25
850255
The CRASH3 computer program, a well known and useful tool in accident reconstruction, is shown to be innaccurate by comparison with car-to-car crash test data. Claims for accuracy of about 10 percent cannot be validated. Both the impact model and the damage only model yield results which are in error. Cases involving error well in excess of 20 percent are demonstrated. These inaccuracies are due primarily to the omission of terms in the formulation of the energy equation and to the sensitivity of the solution to the input estimate of principle-direction-of-force.
Technical Paper

The VTS Single-Vehicle Trajectory Simulation

1985-02-25
850252
A vehicle trajectory simulation called VTS has been developed as an aid for reconstruction of automobile accidents. The two dimensional vehicle has longitudinal, lateral and yaw degrees of freedom, a point mass at the center of gravity) yaw inertia about the center of gravity and four contact points (“tires”) which can be arbitrarily positioned. No collision or aerodynamic forces are modeled. The traction surface is represented as a flat plane with a specified nominal friction coefficient. Several quadrilateral “patches” may be applied to the surface to change the friction coefficient in specific regions. User vehicle control consists of timewise tables for steering angle and traction coefficient for each of the four wheels. When used individually or in conjunction with other computer modules, VTS provides a convenient, accurate modular tool for trajectory simulation.
Technical Paper

A Perspective on Automobile Crash Fires

1985-02-25
850092
The relatively rare occurrence of injury or fatality in fuel-fed fires has received considerable attention in automotive safety rulemaking and products liability litigation. The literature related to fatalities associated with fire is confirmed by recent FARS data, and there are no reliable field data which confirm a need for further injury-reducing effect related to FMVSS 301. NHTSA has acknowledged this by removing crash fire rulemaking from its priorities plan. The police-reported crash fire data now available must be supplemented with in-depth investigation by trained teams before informed judgements can be made regarding further safety improvements with respect to crash fire injury.
Technical Paper

An Inexpensive Automobile Crash Recorder

1974-02-01
740567
One of the greatest challenges faced in the design of realistic occupant protection systems is an accurate statistical model of what is really needed. The paucity of data is this realm hinders designers of standards alike. Ideally, a model of crash statistics would correlate, for significant accident modes, injury level (as measured by AMA Abreviated Injury Scale “AIS”) with some adequate measure of crash intensity. Having this information, not only could the required level of safety design be ascertained, but also the justifiable economic expenditure could be estimated. This paper treats the statistical basis for deployment of a data retrival system. It provides a basis for estimates of the amount of data required, the number of vehicles to be instrumented, the crash severity trigger levels, and the economics of recorder installation, for various levels of injury and fatality.
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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