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Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

2009-11-02
2009-22-0002
Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Restraint Robustness in Frontal Crashes

2007-04-16
2007-01-1181
The protection of a vehicle occupant in a frontal crash is a combination of vehicle front structural design and occupant restraint design. Once chosen and manufactured, these design features must interact with a wide variety of structural characteristics in potential crash partners. If robust, the restraint design will provide a high level of protection for a wide variety of crash conditions. This paper examines how robust a given restraint system is for occupant self-protection and how frontal design can improve the restraint performance of potential crash partners, thus improving their restraint robustness as well. To examine restraint robustness in self protection, the effect of various vehicle deceleration characteristics on occupant injury potential is investigated for a given restraint design. A MADYMO model of a 1996 Taurus interior and its restraint system with a Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy are simulated and subjected to 650 crash pulses taken during 25 years of U.S.
Technical Paper

NHTSA's Frontal Offset Research Program

2004-03-08
2004-01-1169
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting a research program to investigate the use of the 40 percent offset deformable barrier (ODB) crash test procedure to reduce death and injury, in particular debilitating lower extremity injuries in frontal offset collisions. This paper presents the results of 22 ODB crash tests conducted with 50th percentile male and 5th percentile female Hybrid III (HIII) dummies fitted with advanced lower legs, Thor-Lx/HIIIr and Thor-FLx/HIIIr, to assess the potential for debilitating and costly lower limb injuries. This paper also begins to investigate the implications that the ODB test procedure may have for fleet compatibility by evaluating the results from vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Vehicle Structural Integrity and Occupant Injury Potential in Full-frontal and Offset-frontal Crash Tests

2000-03-06
2000-01-0879
The frontal crash standard in the USA specifies that the full front of a vehicle impact a rigid barrier. Subsequently, the European Union developed a frontal crash standard that requires 40 percent of the front of a vehicle to impact a deformable barrier. The present study conducted paired crashes of vehicles using the full-frontal barrier procedure and the 40 percent offset deformable barrier procedure. In part, the study was to examine the feasibility of adding an offset test procedure to the frontal crash standard in the USA. Frontal-offset and full-frontal testing was conducted using both the mid-size (50th percentile male Hybrid III) and the small stature (5th percentile female Hybrid III) dummies. Five vehicle models were used in the testing: Dodge Neon, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Venture and Ford Contour. In the crash tests, all dummies were restrained with the available safety belt systems and frontal air bags.
Technical Paper

Comparative Studies of Neck Injuries of Car Occupants in Frontal Collisions in the United States and in the Federal Republic of Germany

1981-10-01
811030
Parallel and coordinated accident studies were conducted in the United States and in the Federal Republic of Germany to determine the extent, the level, and the comparability of neck injuries in automotive accidents as reported in the National Crash Severity Study (NCSS), and the Association of German Automobile Insurers (HUK-Verband) files. To determine the comparability of the two data sets, three primary evaluation criteria were used: 1) the distribution of overall injuries by AIS level by various occupant parameters, 2) the risk of occupant AIS injury vs. delta V, and 3) the distribution of neck injuries by AIS for restrained vs unrestrained occupants. Frequencies and severities of neck injuries in car accidents were compared in parallel layouts between the two data sets in frontal, side and rear impact modes. In further breakdown the frontal impact file was separated into driver/passenger and male/female categories.
Technical Paper

Reducing the Risk of Driver Injury from Common Steering Control Devices in Frontal Collisions

1999-03-01
1999-01-0759
Steering control devices are used by people who have difficulty gripping the steering wheel. These devices have projections that may extend up to 14 cm toward the occupant. Testing indicated that contact with certain larger steering control devices with tall rigid projections could severely injure a driver in a frontal collision. In order to reduce this injury risk, an alternative, less injurious design was developed and tested. This design, which included replacing unyielding aluminum projections with compliant plastic ones, produced significantly lower peak contact pressure and less damage to the chest of a cadaver test subject, while maintaining the strength necessary to be useful.
Technical Paper

Deployment of Air Bags into the Thorax of an Out-of-Position Dummy

1999-03-01
1999-01-0764
The air bag has proven effective in reducing fatalities in frontal crashes with estimated decreases ranging from 11% to 30% depending on the size of the vehicle [IIHS-1995, Kahane-1996]. At the same time, some air bag designs have caused fatalities when front-seat passengers have been in close proximity to the deploying air bag [Kleinberger-1997]. The objective of this study was to develop an accurate and repeatable out-of-position test fixture to study the deployment of air bags into out-of-position occupants. Tests were performed with a 5th percentile female Hybrid III dummy and studied air bag loading on the thorax using draft ISO-2 out-of-position (OOP) occupant positioning. Two different interpretations of the ISO-2 positioning were used in this study. The first, termed Nominal ISO-2, placed the chin on the steering wheel with the spine parallel to the steering wheel.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program Has It Led to Stiffer Light Trucks and Vans over the Years?

1999-03-01
1999-01-0064
Since model year 1983, one hundred and seventy five light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles (LTVs) have been included in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) frontal crash tests. In this frontal test, vehicles are crashed at 35 mph such that the entire front impacts against a rigid, fixed barrier. Instrumented anthropometric dummies are placed in the driver and right front passenger seats. Accelerometers are placed on the vehicle to record the response of the structure during the crash. A number of recent papers have examined the compatibility of LTVs and cars in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. The studies in these papers, generally, consider three factors for vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility: (1) mass, (2) stiffness, and (3) geometry. On June 5, 1998, Transport Canada and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a forum entitled “Transport-NHTSA International Dialogue on Vehicle Compatibility,” in Windsor, Canada.
Technical Paper

NHTSA’s Vehicle Compatibility Research Program

1999-03-01
1999-01-0071
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting a research program to investigate the crash compatibility of passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTV’s) in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. NHTSA has conducted a series of eight full-scale vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests to evaluate vehicle compatibility issues. Tests were conducted using four bullet vehicles representing different vehicle classes striking a mid-size sedan in both side and oblique frontal crash configurations. The test results show a good correlation between vehicle aggressivity metrics and injury parameters measured in the struck car for the frontal offset tests, but not for the side impact tests.
Technical Paper

Improvements in the Simulation of Unrestrained Passengers in Frontal Crashes Using Vehicle Test Data

1986-02-24
860654
The absence of data on the load deflection and energy absorption characteristics of vehicle interiors has been a factor which limits the accuracy of crash victim simulations. A recent test program conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed data on the interactions of dashboards and knee panels with chests and knees. This paper summarizes the test results for several vehicles and shows how these results are used in simulating vehicle crash tests. Comparisons between crash tests and computer reconstruction using the 3-Dimensional Crash Victim Simulator (CVS-3D) for a late model car are included. The simulation shows good agreement with test and illustrates the application of available static and dynamic test data to improve occupant simulations.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced ATD Thorax System for Improved Injury Assessment in Frontal Crash Environments

1992-11-01
922520
Injuries to the thorax and abdomen comprise a significant percentage of all occupant injuries in motor vehicle accidents. While the percentage of internal chest injuries is reduced for restrained front-seat occupants in frontal crashes, serious skeletal chest injuries and abdominal injuries can still result from interaction with steering wheels and restraint systems. This paper describes the design and performance of prototype components for the chest, abdomen, spine, and shoulders of the Hybrid III dummy that are under development to improve the capability of the Hybrid III frontal crash dummy with regard to restraint-system interaction and injury-sensing capability.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Child Safety Seats Based on Sled Tests

1987-11-01
872210
The injury reducing effectiveness of child safety seats in frontal crashes was evaluated, based on 36 frontal or oblique sled tests run with two or more GM three-year-old dummies in the simulated passenger compartment of a car. Unrestrained, correctly restrained and incorrectly restrained dummies were tested at the range of speeds where most nonminor injuries occur (15-35 mph). Accident data from NHTSA files were used to calibrate a relationship between the front-seat unrestrained dummies' HIC and unrestrained children's risk of serious head injuries; also between torso g's and the risk of serious torso injuries. These relationships were used to predict injury risk for the restrained children as a function of crash speed and to compare it to the risk for unrestrained children. The sled test analysis predicted that the 1984 mix of correctly and incorrectly used safety seats reduced serious injury risk by 40 percent relative to the unrestrained child, in frontal crashes.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury Patterns in Crashes with Airbag Equipped Government Sponsored Cars

1987-11-01
872216
In 1983, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated two air hag vehicle fleet programs. The objective was to demonstrate that both original equipment and retrofit air bag systems operate in vehicles as intended. As of July 1, 1987, the two fleets together have accumulated over 200 million miles. Data are presented for 112 crashes involving air bag deployment in these government sponsored fleet vehicles in service between 1984 and July 1, 1987. Of the 112 drivers involved in the crashes, 103 sustained either no injury or only minor (AIS 1)[1]1 injuries. Of the nine remaining cases, six were AIS 2 and three AIS 3. To date, the limited data indicate that the air bag deployed as expected in all frontal crashes severe enough to require occupant restraint beyond that provided by the vehicle interior. Additionally, in collisions in which the air bag did not deploy, the crashes were of such low severity that no actuation was expected and none took place.
Technical Paper

RAID - An Investigative Tool to Study Air Bag/Upper Extremity Interactions

1997-02-24
970399
A study of frontal collisions using the NASS data base showed that there were four times as many arm injuries to belt restrained drivers who had an air bag deploy than for the drivers who were simply belted. By far, the distal forearm/hand was the most commonly injured region. Hard copy review identified two modes of arm injury related to the deploying air bag: 1) The arm is directly contacted by the air bag module and/or flap cover, and 2) The arm is flung away and contacts an interior car surface. Based on the field studies, a mechanical device called the Research Arm Injury Device (RAID) was fabricated to assess the aggressivity of air bags from different manufacturers. Results from static air bag deployment tests with the RAID suggested that the RAID was able to clearly distinguish between the aggressive and non-aggressive air bags. Maximum moments ranging between 100 Nm and 650 Nm, and hand fling velocity ranging between 30 and 120 km/h were measured on the RAID in these tests.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program - Historical Review and Effect

1994-03-01
941052
This report is a condensed version of the December 1993 New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) report to Congress and provides: an historical review and future goals for NCAP. the results of an 18-month study to assess consumer and media needs in understanding and promoting the use of NCAP data. This included consumer focus groups and media studies. These studies indicated that consumers and the media desire comparative safety information on vehicles, a simplified NCAP format to better understand and utilize the crash test results, and would like to see NCAP expanded to include other crash modes. studies of real-world crashes versus NCAP crash tests. These studies conclude that NCAP test conditions approximate real-world crash conditions covering a major segment of the frontal crash safety problem and that there is a significant correlation between NCAP results and real-world fatality risks for restrained drivers.
Technical Paper

On the Synergism of the Driver Air Bag and the 3-Point Belt in Frontal Collisions

1995-11-01
952700
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.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program:Five Star Rating System and Vehicle Safety Performance Characteristics

1995-02-01
950888
In the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), beginning with the model year 1994 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and adopted a simplified nonnumeric format for presenting the comparative frontal crashworthiness safety information to consumers. This paper presents the basis for the development of this “star rating” system. The injury probability functions which are used for the star rating system are also applied to the results of the recent NCAP real-world correlation studies and a review of these studies is given. The safety performance for restrained occupants as measured in NCAP is dependent on several parameters which include: the design of the restraint system, the maintenance of the integrity of the occupant space, and the energy management performance of the front structure.
Technical Paper

Improving Occupant Protection Systems in Frontal Crashes

1996-02-01
960665
In the United States, air bags will be required in all passenger cars and light trucks under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. Even after full implementation of driver and passenger air bags as required by FMVSS No. 208, frontal impacts will still account for up to 8,000 fatalities and 120,000 moderate to critical injuries (i.e., injuries of AIS ≥ 2) [1]. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an ongoing research program to address these fatalities and injuries and provide a basis for the possible future upgrade of FMVSS No. 208. This effort includes developing supplementary test procedures for the evaluation of occupant injury in higher severity crashes, developing improved injury criteria including criteria for assessing injuries to additional body regions, and evaluating the injuries associated with occupant size [2, 3 and 4].
Technical Paper

Upper Neck Response of the Belt and Air Bag Restrained 50th Percentile Hybrid III Dummy in the USA's New Car Assessment Program

1998-11-02
983164
Since 1994, the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled upper neck loads for the belt and air bag restrained 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy. Over five years from 1994 to 1998, in frontal crash tests, NCAP collected upper neck data for 118 passenger cars and seventy-eight light trucks and vans. This paper examines these data and attempts to assess the potential for neck injury based on injury criteria included in FMVSS No. 208 (for the optional sled test). The paper examines the extent of serious neck injury in real world crashes as reported in the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). The results suggest that serious neck injuries do occur at higher speeds for crashes involving occupants restrained by belts in passenger cars.
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