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Technical Paper

Field Demonstration of a Camera/Video Imaging System for Heavy Vehicles - Driver Lane Change Performance Preliminary Results

2010-10-05
2010-01-2020
On-board Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) for heavy vehicles display live images to the driver of selected areas to the sides, and in back of the truck's exterior using displays inside the truck cabin. They provide a countermeasure to blind-spot related crashes by allowing drivers to see objects not ordinarily visible by a typical mirror configuration, and to better judge the clearance between the trailer and an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is currently investigating commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver performance with C/VISs through a technology field demonstration sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Data collection, which consists of recording twelve CMV drivers performing their daily employment duties with and without a C/VIS for four months, is currently underway.
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.
Journal Article

Preliminary Evaluation Methodology in Front-Front Vehicle Compatibility

2008-04-14
2008-01-0814
The injury outcome of a front-front two-vehicle crash will be a function of crash-specific, vehicle-specific, and occupant-specific parameters. This paper focuses on a preliminary methodology that was used to evaluate the potential for benefits in making vehicle-specific changes to improve the compatibility of light vehicles across the fleet. In particular, the effect on injury rates of matching vehicle frontal stiffness was estimated. The front-front crash data for belted drivers in the lighter vehicles in the crash from ten years of NASS-CDS data were examined. The frontal stiffness of each vehicle was calculated using data taken during full frontal rigid barrier tests for the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and only crashes coded in the CDS as “no override” were considered.
Technical Paper

Simulator Study of Heavy Truck Air Disc Brake Effectiveness During Emergency Braking

2008-04-14
2008-01-1498
In crashes between heavy trucks and light vehicles, most of the fatalities are the occupants of the light vehicle. A reduction in heavy truck stopping distance should lead to a reduction in the number of crashes, the severity of crashes, and consequently the numbers of fatalities and injuries. This study made use of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). NADS is a full immersion driving simulator used to study driver behavior as well as driver-vehicle reactions and responses. The vehicle dynamics model of the existing heavy truck on NADS had been modified with the creation of two additional brake models. The first was a modified S-cam (larger drums and shoes) and the second was an air-actuated disc brake system. A sample of 108 CDL-licensed drivers was split evenly among the simulations using each of the three braking systems. The drivers were presented with four different emergency stopping situations.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Steering System Model for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

2004-03-08
2004-01-1072
This paper presents the details of the model for the physical steering system used on the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The system is basically a hardware-in-the-loop (steering feedback motor and controls) steering system coupled with the core vehicle dynamics of the simulator. The system's torque control uses cascaded position and velocity feedback and is controlled to provide steering feedback with variable stiffness and dynamic properties. The reference model, which calculates the desired value of the torque, is made of power steering torque, damping function torque, torque from tires, locking limit torque, and driver input torque. The model also provides a unique steering dead-band function that is important for on-center feel. A Simulink model of the hardware/software is presented and analysis of the simulator steering system is provided.
Technical Paper

Experimental Steering Feel Performance Measures

2004-03-08
2004-01-1074
This paper discusses techniques for estimating steering feel performance measures for on-center and off-center driving. Weave tests at different speeds are used to get on-center performances for a 1994 Ford Taurus, a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, and a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. New concepts analyzing weave tests are added, specifically, the difference of the upper and lower curves of the hysteresis and their relevance to driver load feel. For the 1997 Jeep Cherokee, additional tests were done to determine steering on-center transition properties, steering flick tests, and the transfer function of handwheel torque feel to handwheel steering input. This transfer function provides steering system stiffness in the frequency domain. The frequency domain analysis is found to be a unique approach for characterizing handwheel feel, in that it provides a steering feel up to maximum steering rate possible by the drivers.
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

Light Vehicle Frontal Impact Protection

1982-02-01
820243
This paper addresses the protection of occupants in light vehicles. It presents data and techniques for identifying and measuring potential crashworthiness improvements that would mitigate injuries to occupants striking frontal interior components such as the steering wheel, instrument panel and windshield. Both restrained and unrestrained occupants can be injured by frontal interior components in crashes. The focus of this paper is on the unrestrained occupant. However, performance criteria and associated countermeasures will have to be developed considering the differences in the mechanisms of injury to both the restrained and unrestrained occupants. Work on the restrained occupant and the similarities and differences between both conditions remains to be considered. The paper presents information on the magnitude and types of injuries received from frontal interior components and on how the performance of these components and the vehicle structure affect the resultant injuries.
Technical Paper

A Search for Priorities in Crash Protection

1982-02-01
820242
This paper presents the methodology and results of an analysis of the available information on motor vehicle safety which could be used to provide a basis for establishing priorities for future Government and private sector efforts directed at enhanced crash protection. The work was stimulated by several factors: (1) 5 years have elapsed since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a plan for motor vehicle safety research and development, (2) motor vehicles have changed substantially over the past several years, (3) the quantity and quality of accident data and vehicle crash performance information have increased dramatically over the past 5 years, and (4) Government policies and the amount of Government and private sector resources available for future efforts are changing.
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

Driver Crash Avoidance Behavior with ABS in an Intersection Incursion Scenario on Dry Versus Wet Pavement

1999-03-01
1999-01-1288
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed its Light Vehicle Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) Research Program in an effort to determine the cause (s) of the apparent increase in fatal single-vehicle run-off-road crashes as vehicles undergo a transition from conventional brakes to ABS. As part of this program, NHTSA conducted research examining driver crash avoidance behavior and the effects of ABS on drivers' ability to avoid a collision in a crash-imminent situation. The study described here was conducted on a test track under dry and wet pavement conditions to examine the effects of ABS versus conventional brakes, ABS brake pedal feedback level, and ABS instruction on driver behavior and crash avoidance performance. This study found that drivers do tend to brake and steer in realistic crash avoidance situations and that excessive steering can occur.
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

Reverse Engineering Method for Developing Passenger Vehicle Finite Element Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0083
A methodology to develop full-vehicle representation in the form of a finite element model for crashworthiness studies has been evolved. Detailed finite element models of two passenger vehicles - 1995 Chevy Lumina and 1994 Dodge Intrepid have been created. The models are intended for studying the vehicle’s behavior in full frontal, frontal offset and side impact collisions. These models are suitable for evaluating vehicle performance and occupant safety in a wide variety of impact situations, and are also suitable for part and material substitution studies to support PNGV (Partnership for New Generation of Vehicles) research. The geometry for these models was created by careful scanning and digitizing of the entire vehicle. High degree of detail is captured in the BIW, the front-end components and other areas involved in frontal, frontal offset and side impact on the driver’s side.
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

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

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.
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