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Technical Paper

Far-Side Impact Vehicle Simulations with MADYMO

To date, anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) have not been designed with consideration for human motion in far-side impacts. Previous tests with a cadaver and a BioSID dummy at the Medical College of Wisconsin confirmed that the dummy does not suitably model the human motion. To further evaluate different ATDs in far-side crashes, MAthematical DYnamic MOdeling (MADYMO) was employed. The modeling showed that the motion of a Hybrid III, BioSID, EuroSid1, EuroSID2, or SID2s did not accurately reflect the motion of a human cadaver under the same impact configurations as the cadaver test. The MADYMO human facet model was found to closely reproduce the kinematics of the cadaver test. The effect of varying console designs on occupant kinematics is presented in this paper. The human facet model appears to be a good interim tool for the evaluation of countermeasures in far-side crashes.
Technical Paper

Evaluating Frontal Crash Test Force-Deformation Data for Vehicle to Vehicle Frontal Crash Compatibility

Vehicle stiffness is one of the three major factors in vehicle to vehicle compatibility in a frontal crash; the other two factors are vehicle mass and frontal geometry. Vehicle to vehicle compatibility in turn is an increasingly important topic due to the rapid change in the size and characteristics of the automotive fleet, particularly the increase of the percentage of trucks and SUVs. Due to the non-linear nature of the mechanics of vehicle structure, frontal stiffness is not a properly defined metric. This research is aimed at developing a well defined method to quantify frontal stiffness for vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility. The method to be developed should predict crash outcome and controlling the defined metric should improve the crash outcome. The criterion that is used to judge the aggressivity of a vehicle in this method is the amount of deformation caused to the vulnerable vehicles when crashed with the subject vehicle.
Technical Paper

Foot and Ankle Injuries to Drivers in Between-Rail Crashes

The research question investigated in this study is what are the key attributes of foot and ankle injury in the between-rail frontal crash? For the foot and ankle, what was the type of interior surface contacted and the type of resulting trauma? The method was to study with in-depth case reviews of NASS-CDS cases where a driver suffered an AIS=2 foot or ankle injury in between-rail crashes. Cases were limited to belted occupants in vehicles equipped with air bags. The reviews concentrated on coded and non-coded data, identifying especially those factors contributing to the injuries of the driver's foot/ankle. This study examines real-world crash data between the years 1997-2009 with a focus on frontal crashes involving 1997 and later model year vehicles. The raw data count for between-rail crashes was 732, corresponding to 227,305 weighted, tow-away crashes.
Technical Paper

Effect of Occupant Position and Air Bag Inflation Parameters on Driver Injury Measures

This paper investigates the effects of driver airbag inflation characteristics, airbag relative position, airbag to dummy relative velocity, and steering column characteristics using a finite element model of a vehicle, air bag, and Hybrid III 50% male dummy. Simulation is conducted in a static test environment using a validated finite element model. Several static simulation tests are performed where the air bag module's position is mounted in a rigid steering wheel and the vertical and horizontal distances are varied relative to the dummy. Three vertical alignments are used: one position corresponds to the head centered on module, another position corresponds to the neck centered on module, and the third position centers the chest on the module. Horizontal alignments vary from 0 mm to 50 mm to 100 mm. All of these tests are simulated using a typical pre-1998 type inflation curve (mass flow rate of gas entering the bag).
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the Field Relevance of Several Injury Risk Functions

An evaluation of the four injury risk curves proposed in the NHTSA NCAP for estimating the risk of AIS≻=3 injuries to the head, neck, chest and AIS≻=2 injury to the Knee-Thigh-Hip (KTH) complex has been conducted. The predicted injury risk to the four body regions based on driver dummy responses in over 300 frontal NCAP tests were compared against those to drivers involved in real-world crashes of similar severity as represented in the NASS. The results of the study show that the predicted injury risks to the head and chest were slightly below those in NASS, and the predicted risk for the knee-thigh-hip complex was substantially below that observed in the NASS. The predicted risk for the neck by the Nij curve was greater than the observed risk in NASS by an order of magnitude due to the Nij risk curve predicting a non-zero risk when Nij = 0. An alternative and published Nte risk curve produced a risk estimate consistent with the NASS estimate of neck injury.
Technical Paper

Trend of Rear Occupant Protection in Frontal Crashes over Model Years of Vehicles

The National Automotive Sampling System’s Crashworthiness Data System (NASS CDS) was used to study rear occupant injuries in frontal crashes. The risks of injury for the rear passengers of different age groups were calculated and compared to the risks of injury for the front occupants. Furthermore, the risks of injury were investigated for the rear and front adult occupants over model years of vehicles. Distribution of injuries among body regions and vehicle contact points were also investigated for the rear adult occupants. While the rear occupants were more protected than the front occupants in most of the groups studied, an increasing trend was observed in the risk of injury of the rear adult occupants over the model years of the vehicles.
Technical Paper

Heart Injuries Among Restrained Occupants in Frontal Crashes

The William Lehman Injury Research Center has conducted multi-disciplinary investigations of one hundred seventy-eight crashes involving adult occupants protected by safety belts and air bags. In all cases, serious injuries were suspected. Nine cases involved serious heart injuries. These cases are not representative of crashes in general. However, when used in conjunction with National Accident Sampling System; Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) they provide insight into the most severe injuries suffered by restrained occupants in frontal crashes. Heart injuries are rare, but when they occur they are usually life threatening. NASS/CDS shows that heart injuries comprise about 0.2% of the injuries in frontal tow-away crashes. In the NHTSA file of Special Crash Investigations (SCI) of air bag cases, heart injuries are reported in 1% of the occupants over 15 years of age. Twenty-five percent of the fatally injured occupants had heart injuries, and 83% of those with heart injury died.
Technical Paper

Air Bag Induced Injury Mechanisms for Infants in Rear Facing Child Restraints

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Special Crash Investigations database contains twelve completed cases of child fatalities in rearward facing child seats caused by deploying air bags. Three of these are now available for examination. An additional two cases were investigated by the William Lehman Injury Research Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine. These five cases are examined to evaluate crash environment, injury mechanisms, and circumstances which caused the child to be in front of the passenger side air bag Four of the cases were crashes with impacts with the side of other cars with crash severities less than 15 mph. The predominate injury mechanism was brain and skull injury from a blow transmitted to the rear of the head through the child seat back. In one case, the force to the head was transmitted downward, directly from air bag contact.
Technical Paper

Side Impact Injury Risk for Belted Far Side Passenger Vehicle Occupants

In a side impact, the occupants on both the struck, or near side, of the vehicle and the occupants on the opposite, or far side, of the vehicle are at risk of injury. Since model year 1997, all passenger cars in the U.S. have been required to comply with FMVSS No. 214, a safety standard that mandates a minimum level of side crash protection for near side occupants. No such federal safety standard exists for far side occupants. The mechanism of far side injury is believed to be quite different than the injury mechanism for near side injury. Far side impact protection may require the development of different countermeasures than those which are effective for near side impact protection. This paper evaluates the risk of side crash injury for far side occupants as a basis for developing far side impact injury countermeasures. Based on the analysis of NASS/CDS 1993–2002, this study examines the injury outcome of over 4500 car, light truck, and van occupants subjected to far side impact.
Technical Paper

The Role of Intrusion in Injury Causation in Frontal Crashes

In December 2003, fifteen participating Automobile Manufacturers announced the adoption of voluntary standards for geometric compatibility in frontal crashes. In an October 2003 report, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) estimated that an 8 to 28 percent fatality reduction might be achieved with better geometric and stiffness compatibility (O’Neill, 2003). This benefit was based on comparing the fatality risks of car occupants in car-to-car collisions and in car-to-SUV collisions. Reduced occupant compartment intrusion was cited as the principal advantage gained by compatibility improvements. However, the study did not actually examine the role that intrusion played in causing the fatalities. This study examines the magnitude of serious injuries in frontal crashes that could be addressed by reducing occupant compartment intrusion. Each frontal vehicle-to-vehicle case in William Lehman Injury Research Center (WLIRC) data was examined to determine the cause of each injury.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Road Crash Facial Lacerations By Broken Windshields

The facial laceration test has been proposed as an addition to the dummy injury criteria of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. To better understand laceration conditions as they actually occur, three road crashes of increasing severity, all involving facial laceration by the broken (cracked) windshield and one involving partial ejection, have been simulated physically and analytically. The physical simulations used vehicle test bucks, the Hybrid III head with the chamois facial coverings of the facial laceration test, and a piston - constrained Head Impactor. Computer simulations of the three crashes were also carried out using the CALSPAN 3D “CVS” and the 2D “DRISIM” computer programs. The computer simulations provide insight into the effective mass of the head and body on windshield contact, and the forces, velocities, and accelerations involved.
Technical Paper


Occupants exposed to far-side crashes are those seated on the side of the vehicle opposite the struck side. This study uses the NASS/CDS 1988–98 to determine distributions of serious injuries among restrained occupants exposed to far-side crashes and the sources of the injuries. Vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests were conducted to study dummy kinematics. The NASS/CDS indicated that the head accounted for 45% of the MAIS 4+ injuries in far-side collisions and the chest/abdomen accounted for 39%. The opposite-side interior was the most frequent contact associated with driver AIS 3+ injuries (26.9%). The safety belt was second, accounting for 20.8%. Vehicle-to-vehicle side impact tests with a 60 degree crash vector indicated that different safety belt designs resulted in different amounts of head excursion for the far side Hybrid III dummy. For all three point belt systems tested, the shoulder belt was ineffective in preventing large amounts of head excursion.