On the Synergism of the Driver Air Bag and the 3-Point Belt in Frontal Collisions
The number of passenger vehicles with combined 3-point belt/driver air bag restraint systems is steadily increasing. To investigate the effectiveness of this restraint combination, 48 kph frontal collisions were performed with human cadavers. Each cadaver's thorax was instrumented with a 12-accelerometer array and two chest bands. The results show, that by using a combined standard 3-point belt (6% elongation)/driver air bag, the thoracic injury pattern remained located under the shoulder belt. The same observation was found when belts with 16% elongation were used in combination with the driver air bag. Chest contours derived from the chest bands showed high local compression and deformation of the chest along the shoulder belt path, and suggest the mechanism for the thoracic injuries.