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Journal Article

Frontal Crash Protection in Pre-1998 Vehicles versus 1998 and Later Vehicles

This investigation addresses and evaluates: (1) belted drivers in frontal crashes; (2) crashes divided into low, medium, and high severity; (3) air-bag-equipped passenger vehicles separated into either model years 1985 - 1997 (with airbags) or model years 1998 - 2008; (4) rate of Harm as a function of crash severity and vehicle model year; and (5) injury patterns associated with injured body regions and the involved physical components, by vehicle model year. Comparisons are made between the injury patterns related to drivers seated in vehicles manufactured before 1998 and those manufactured 1998 or later. The purpose of this comparative analysis is to establish how driver injury patterns may have changed as a result of the introduction of more recent safety belt technology, advanced airbags, or structural changes.
Technical Paper

Reconstruction of Frontal Accidents Using the CVS-3D Model

The Crash Victim Simulator Three Dimensional Model (CVS-3D) allows the simulation of the kinematics and responses of a motor vehicle occupant or pedestrian during a crash. This paper summarizes the data requirements for the CVS-3D Model, the sources of data, and the research underway to provide additional data for modeling the occupant and the vehicle. An example of the use of the model in reconstructing an offset frontal accident is included. The results computed by the model are quite reasonable when compared with the injuries received by the occupant. The insights into the events which occurred during the crash are excellent.
Technical Paper

Crash Simulations to Understand Injury Mechanisms in Maneuver Induced Rollover Crashes

Real world crashes in NASS/CDS 1997 to 2000 were examined individually in order to find patterns in single vehicle rollover crashes. Typical maneuver induced rollovers of SUV's were reconstructed using the HVE model. From HVE and roll event reconstructions, the values of longitudinal, lateral, and vertical displacement, and roll, pitch, and yaw angle, for the pre-roll and rollover event were calculated. These values were used as inputs to a MADYMO model for simulated vehicle motion to predict occupant kinematics. Both near-side and far-side rollovers were simulated. The MADYMO model provided estimates of head velocity for the various rollover scenarios for a belted driver. In both near-side and far-side rollovers of the type reconstructed, the lateral component of head velocity was the greatest. Maximum head velocities of 5.3 m/s were predicted. The simulations were for two complete rollovers. The highest head velocity occurred during the first three quarter turns.
Technical Paper

Injury Mechanism of the Head and Face of Children in Side Impacts

This study assessed the primary involved physical components attributed to the head and face injuries of child occupants seated directly adjacent to the stuck side of a vehicle in a side impact collision. The findings presented in this study were based upon analysis of the National Automotive Sampling System/Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) for the years 1993–2007. Injury analysis was conducted for those nearside child occupants aged between 1–12 years-old. The involved children were classified as toddler-type, booster-type, or belted-type occupants. These classifications were based upon the recommended restraint system for the occupant. Injury mechanisms were assessed for the child occupants in each of the three groups. A detailed study of NASS/CDS cases was conducted to provide a greater understanding of the associated injury mechanisms.
Technical Paper

Severe Head and Neck Injuries in NASS Rear Impacts

In this paper the characteristics of rear impact crashes are examined. General information about rear impact collisions is derived from recent data from the National Automotive Sampling System, General Estimates System (NASS/GES) and Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) as reported in the annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts. Additional details about the frequency, severity, type, and cause of injuries to front seat outboard occupants is analyzed using the National Automotive Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) data from 1997 to 2005. Serious head and neck injuries are focused on for further analysis. Specific cases from the CDS database that meet this classification are examined. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 301-R test data is used to analyze occupant, seat, and vehicle kinematics in single impact rear collisions and to look at the occupant rebound velocity.
Technical Paper

Chest and Abdominal Injuries Suffered by Restraint Occupants

This paper is based on the crash and casualty experience compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) National Accident Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data (NASS/CDS 1988-1992), and by the William Lehman Injury Research Center (University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital/Ryder Trauma Center) crash data files. The NASS/CDS files provide data on injuries to occupants in all types of tow-away crashes. The William Lehman Injury Research Center files provide detailed crash analysis and injury documentation of more than 100 restrained occupants with injuries from frontal crashes. These files provide a basis for recognizing injury patterns among restrained occupants and postulating their causes. The purpose of this paper is to report on an observed pattern of liver and spleen injuries suffered by drivers wearing shoulder belts without the lap belt fastened.
Technical Paper

Injuries Sustained by Air Bag Protected Drivers

The William Lehman Injury Research Center has conducted multi-disciplinary investigations of fifty crashes involving drivers protected by air bags. In all cases, serious injuries were suspected. Nine cases involved fatal injuries. These cases are not representative of crashes in general. However, when used in conjunction with NASS/CDS they provide insight into the most severe injuries in crashes of vehicles equipped with air bags. A comparison with data from the National Accident Sampling System; Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) shows that head injury and abdominal injury make up a larger fraction in the Lehman data than in NASS/CDS. Examination of fatal cases indicates that head injuries are frequently caused by intruding structure or by unfavorable occupant kinematics among the unrestrained population.
Technical Paper

Injury Risks in Cars with Different Air Bag Deployment Rates

Automobile insurance claims of two popular midsize cars with different air bag deployment frequencies -- the Dodge/Plymouth Neon and Honda Civic -- were examined to determine performance in higher severity crashes (the upper 30 percent of crashes ranked by adjusted repair cost). Previously, it was found that drivers sustained more, mainly minor, injuries in the Neon which had a higher deployment frequency in low speed crashes. This study examined, for these two cars, whether there was any trade-off associated with a higher deployment threshold. It was found that even at higher speeds, the Neon had a greater frequency of air bag deployments, which in turn resulted in a greater likelihood of driver injury. Once again upper extremity injuries were most prevalent for Neon drivers and were highest for female drivers. At the same time, there was little evidence that driver protection was compromised in the Civic in the more important high speed crashes.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury Patterns in Side Crashes

This paper presents an analysis of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) and the Fatal Accident Reporting Systems (FARS) data for the combined years 1988–97 with respect to side impacts. Accident variables, vehicle variables, occupant variables and their interactions have been considered, with special emphasis on occupant injury patterns. The crash modes considered are car-to-car, car-to-LTV (light trucks and vans) and car to narrow object, with special emphasis on the latter two. This study was undertaken to obtain a better understanding of injury patterns in lateral impacts, their associated causation factors, and to obtain information that will assist in prioritizing crash injury research problems in near side impacts. Of particular interest is the increase in the population of light trucks and vans and their influence on side impact priorities. Conclusions will be drawn regarding the frequency and injury severity of car-to-LTV’s and car to narrow objects.
Technical Paper

Recent Improvements in Occupant Crash Simulation Capabilities of the CVS/ATB Model

The CVS/ATB (Crash Victim Simulator/ Articulated Total Body) computer program solves the equations of motion in three dimensional space for a set of rigid bodies connected by joints. The program permits the specification of contact interaction properties between the rigid bodies and the surrounding environment. It is, therefore, possible to specify initial conditions of motion for the rigid bodies, and calculate the subsequent motion resulting from the forces imposed by the environment. The program is sufficiently general that it can be applied to a wide range of physical dynamic situations. However, the principal motivation for its development was to evaluate the interactions of the human body with the environment inside a motor vehicle during a crash. Subsequently, it has been applied to a number of other dynamic simulations including pedestrian to vehicle impacts and the emergency escape of air crew from aircraft. The CVS/ATB program is in the public domain.
Technical Paper

Crash Exposure and Crashworthiness of Sport Utility Vehicles

This paper examines the crash involvement and occupant safety record of sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) in comparison with those of cars, vans, and pickups. The investigation is based on the crash experience of the cited vehicles on the US roads, from 1988 to 1996, as compiled in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) records. In comparison with passenger car occupants, SUV occupants are exposed to significantly lower crash severities in planar crashes and they are younger. SUV occupants are underrepresented in crashes with other vehicles, but they are more frequently exposed to rollovers (8.7% vs. 33%). The overall belt use rate in SUV’s is about the same as for passenger cars. The overall belt use rate in rollover crashes is much lower than in planar crashes -51% for rollover vs. 62% for planar.