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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

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

The Role of Skull Fractures in Short Duration Head Impacts

1987-02-23
870321
Head injuries are considered a significant safety problem for vehicle occupants involved in vehicle crashes. Although medical literature on the subject is extensive, the emphasis is mainly on the clinical and studies frequently involve data samples that are not representative to the vehicle occupant population. Also, research efforts on head injury have focused on the head rotational acceleration mechanism. The effect of head contact on brain injuries has not been adequately acknowledged and there has been disagreement regarding skull fracture and its relationship to brain injury. The human head, being an extremely complex structure, has many independent injury modes which cannot be described satisfactorily by a single brain injury mechanism. Many individual pathophysiological disturbances to the skull and its contents together comprise head injuries.
Technical Paper

Light Vehicle Occupant Protection - Top and Rear Structures and Interiors

1982-02-01
820244
This paper addresses serious, occupant crash injuries from: (a) head impacts with A-pillars, roof headers, and roof side rails, and (b) occupant entrapment and roof intrusion in rollover accidents. It also discusses two less frequent causes of injury: (a) fires in crashes, and (b) occupant ejection through the roof and rear window or rear doors. The paper estimates the relative frequencies of these types of injuries, classified according to the body area injured and the vehicle interior component responsible for the injury. Data for these estimates is from the National Crash Severity Study augmented by the 1979 Fatal Accident Reporting System data. Also, this paper addresses the potential for reducing the severity of these injuries in light motor vehicles, with particular emphasis on AIS 3 and more serious injuries.
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