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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

Impact Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests: Skeletal Deformation Patterns Under Seat Belt Loading

2009-11-02
2009-22-0001
This study evaluated the response of restrained post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in 40 km/h frontal sled tests. Eight male PMHS were restrained on a rigid planar seat by a custom 3-point shoulder and lap belt. A video motion tracking system measured three-dimensional trajectories of multiple skeletal sites on the torso allowing quantification of ribcage deformation. Anterior and superior displacement of the lower ribcage may have contributed to sternal fractures occurring early in the event, at displacement levels below those typically considered injurious, suggesting that fracture risk is not fully described by traditional definitions of chest deformation. The methodology presented here produced novel kinematic data that will be useful in developing biofidelic human models.
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

The Interaction of Air Bags with Upper Extremities

1997-11-12
973324
Recently there has been a greater awareness of the increased risk of certain injuries associated with air bag deployment, especially the risks to small occupants, often women. These injuries include serious eye and upper extremity injuries and even fatalities. This study investigates the interaction of a deploying air bag with cadaveric upper extremities in a typical driving posture; testing concentrates on female occupants. The goals of this investigation are to determine the risk of upper extremity injury caused by primary contact with a deploying air bag and to elucidate the mechanisms of these upper extremity injuries. Five air bags were used that are representative of a wide range of air bag ‘aggressivities’ in the current automobile fleet. This air bag ‘aggressivity’ was quantified using the response of a dummy forearm under air bag deployment.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Thor-Based Small Female Crash Test Dummy

2003-10-27
2003-22-0024
This paper describes the design and development of a small female crash test dummy, results of biofidelity tests, and preliminary results from full-scale, 3-point belt and airbag type sled tests. The small female THOR was designed using the anthropometric data developed by Robbins for the 5th percentile female and biomechanical requirements derived from scaling the responses of the 50th percentile male. While many of the mechanical components of the NHTSA THOR 50th percentile male dummy were scaled according to the appropriate anthropometric data, a number of improved design features have been introduced in the new female THOR. These include; improved neck design, new designs for the head and neck skins: and new designs for the upper and lower abdomen. The lower leg, ankle and foot, known as THOR-FLx, were developed in an earlier effort and have been included as a standard part of the new female dummy.
Technical Paper

The Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) ATD: Biofidelity Comparison with the Hybrid III 10 Year Old

2016-11-07
2016-22-0017
When the Hybrid III 10-year old (HIII-10C) anthropomorphic test device (ATD) was adopted into Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 Part 572 as the best available tool for evaluating large belt-positioning booster seats in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, NHTSA stated that research activities would continue to improve the performance of the HIII-10C to address biofidelity concerns. A significant part of this effort has been NHTSA’s in-house development of the Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) ATD. This prototype ATD is comprised of (1) a head with pediatric mass properties, (2) a neck that produces head lag with Z-axis rotation at the atlanto-occipital joint, (3) a flexible thoracic spine, (4) multi-point thoracic deflection measurement capability, (5) skeletal anthropometry representative of a seated child, and (6) an abdomen that can directly measure belt loading.
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

Air bag crash investigations

2001-06-04
2001-06-0009
The performance of air bags, as an occupant protection system, is of high interest to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA or Agency). Since 1972, the NHTSA has operated a Special Crash Investigations (SCI) program which provides in-depth crash investigation data on new and rapidly changing occupant protection technologies in real-world crashes. The Agency uses these in-depth data to evaluate vehicle safety systems and form a basis for rulemaking actions. The data are also used by the automotive industry and other organizations to evaluate the performance of motor vehicle occupant protection systems such as air bags. This paper presents information from NHTSA's SCI program concerning crash investigations on air-bag-equipped vehicles. The paper focus is on data collection and some general findings in air bag crash investigations including: air-bag-related fatal and life-threatening injuries; side air bags; redesigned air bags and advanced air bags.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of injury risk from side impact air bags

2001-06-04
2001-06-0091
Several thoracic and head protection side impact air bag systems (SAB) are emerging in the U.S. market and are projected to become prevalent in the fleet. These systems appear to offer superior protection in side crashes. However, concerns have been raised as to their potential for causing injury to out-of-position (OOP) occupants. This paper describes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) program for evaluation of the SAB systems for OOP occupants and provides a status report on the current research. The industry's Side Airbag Out-of- Position Injury Technical Working Group (TWG) recommended procedures for 3-year-old and 6-year-old occupants are evaluated. Additional test procedures are described to augment the TWG procedures for these occupants and 12-month- old infants.
Technical Paper

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF DUAL STAGE PASSENGER AIR BAG SYSTEMS

2001-06-04
2001-06-0190
A research program was initiated to evaluate the performance of prototype dual stage passenger air bags in terms of both restraint system performance and deployment aggressivity for different size occupants. Variations in inflator partitions, vent hole diameter sizes, and deployment timing were examined. High speed unbelted sled tests were conducted with both 50th percentile male and 5th percentile female Hybrid III adult dummies at 48 kmph; and belted sled tests were conducted at 56 kmph. Low risk deployment tests with child dummies were conducted to evaluate air bag aggressivity. Overall, it was concluded that the dual stage air bag systems under evaluation had improved performance over the baseline single stage systems in terms of providing high speed protection while reducing aggressivity to out-of-position occupants; however, some dual stage systems may require additional occupant detection methodologies to suppress or control inflation.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Child Safety Seats in Actual Use

1983-10-17
831656
A comprehensive review of casualty-reducing effectiveness estimates of child safety seats in actual use, obtained by statistical analyses of highway accident data. Recent analyses of large samples of New York and Maryland accidents show statistically significant injury reductions for child safety seats; so does a new analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's accident files. Results from Washington State, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Idaho are also reviewed, as are Nationwide restraint usage and fatality trends. The findings are critically examined for possible data biases. It is concluded that child safety seats definitely reduce deaths and injuries in highway crashes, but that their effectiveness cannot be accurately estimated at this time because of inconsistencies and possible biases in the various studies.
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

Fatality and injury Reducing Effectiveness of Lap Belts for Back Seat Occupants

1987-02-23
870486
The fatality and injury reducing effectiveness of Tap belts for back seat occupants is estimated by applying the double pair comparison method to 1975-86 Fatal Accident Reporting System and 1982-85 Pennsylvania accident data. Lap belts significantly reduce the risk of fatalities by 17-26 percent, serious injuries by 37 percent, moderate to serious injuries by 33 percent and injuries of any severity by 11 percent, relative to the unrestrained back seat occupant. Lap belts are primarily effective in nonfrontal crashes because the unrestrained back seat occupant is already well protected in frontals. Lap belted occupants have lower head injury risk but higher torso injury risk than unrestrained back seat occupants. This paper presents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Technical Paper

Air Bags for Small Cars

1985-04-01
851200
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted a number of research projects which examined the need and concern for occupants of small cars. These projects include the demonstration of air bags in small cars at crash severities equal to or greater than the 30 mph test required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 208. The results from these projects showing the protective capability of the air bag are reviewed. Factors influencing air bag performance such as amount of vehicle crush and the time available for air bag inflation are examined. Existing technology for providing air bag protection to occupants in small cars is discussed. The issue concerning the safety of out-of-position child passengers is addressed including a number of technical options for dealing with the out-of-position occupant.
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

1974 Accident Experience with Air Cushion Restraint Systems

1975-02-01
750190
An air cushion restraint system has been available to the public on certain model passenger cars since January 1974. In response to this opportunity to obtain field experience, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established a nationwide reporting network and investigative capability for accidents involving air-bag equipped cars. The reporting criteria for accidents require that the car be towed as a result of the accident, or that a front-seat occupant was injured, or that bag deployment occurred. The principal objective is to obtain the injury-reducing effectiveness of this restraint system in the total accident environment. This environment encompasses “towaway” accidents resulting in bag deployment and non-deployment. Definitive results are expected at the conclusion of the study. This paper summarizes the experience during the first year of the program, during which time the rate of accident occurrence was far less than originally expected.
Technical Paper

Improving Safety Belt Acceptability to the Consumer

1979-02-01
790681
Currently, consumers must contend with many comfort and convenience problems whenever they use a manually operated (“active”) safety belt. Such problems are prevalent not only in older models but in new cars as well. Beginning with 1982 models, most auto manufacturers plan to install automatic safety belts to meet new Federal requirements for passive occupant protection. To reduce the likelihood of consumer rejection and non-use of automatic as well as manual belt systems, research has been conducted to develop performance specifications for improved comfort and convenience. This paper discusses specifications and criteria to improve the safety belts by reducing comfort and convenience variables for both manual and automatic systems.
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.
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