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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

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

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

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.
Technical Paper

Antilock Systems for Air-Braked Vehicles

1992-01-01
890113
When a heavy vehicle driver (or in fact a driver of any vehicle) makes a brake application that is too "hard" for conditions - especially when the vehicle is lightly loaded or empty and/or the road is wet or slippery - he is likely to lock some or all of his wheels. Under these conditions, the tractor can jackknife or the trailer can swing out of its lane (if it is a combination-unit vehicle) or the truck can spin out (if it is a single-unit vehicle). Incorporation of an antilock brake system addresses the wheel lock and resultant control loss.
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

A Review of Motor Vehicle Glazing-Related Ejection Injuries

1993-03-01
930740
A review was conducted of injuries associated with ejection through motor vehicle glazing, using the 1988 through 1991 National Accident Sampling System data maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The review indicated that one percent of the occupants in towaway crashes were ejected and that 22 percent of fatalities in towaway crashes were ejected. Fifty-three percent of complete ejections were through the glazing openings in motor vehicles. Current motor vehicle glazing does not contribute significantly to occupant injuries, but the effects of glazing changes on serious injuries will need to be considered.
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

Subcompact Vehicle Energy-Absorbing Steering Assembly Evaluation

1978-02-01
780899
This paper describes the results of a 2 year study into the field accident performances of two basic designs of energy-absorbing steering assemblies. The two basic designs are the axial-collapse type of steering column used in conjunction with a shear capsule and the self-aligning energy-absorbing steering wheel mounted on a nonstroking column. The study identifies major injury causation factors for these two types of steering assemblies. The analysis was performed on 161 accident cases selected for unrestrained drivers in frontal accidents in two vehicle types.
Technical Paper

Test Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation System (Test PAES): A Data Archiving Tool for Engineers and Scientists

1997-02-24
970453
As Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) become more prevalent, the need to archive data from field tests becomes more critical. These data can guide the design of future systems, provide an information conduit among the many developers of ITS, enable comparisons across locations and time, and support development of theoretical models of driver behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is interested in such an archive. While a design for an ITS data archive has not yet been developed, NHTSA has supported the enhancement of the Test Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation System (Test PAES), originally developed by Calspan SRL Corporation for the U. S. Air Force Armstrong Laboratory, for possible use in such an archive. On a single screen, Test PAES enables engineering unit data, audio, and video, as well as a vehicle animation, to be time synchronized, displayed simultaneously, and operated with a single control.
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

Hardware Evaluation of Heavy Truck Side and Rear Object Detection Systems

1995-02-01
951010
This paper focuses on two types of electronics-based object detection systems for heavy truck applications: those sensing the presence of objects to the rear of the vehicle, and those sensing the presence of objects on the right side of the vehicle. The rearward sensing systems are intended to aid drivers when backing their vehicles, typically at very low “crawl” speeds. Six rear object detection systems that were commercially available at the time that this study was initiated were evaluated. The right side looking systems are intended primarily as supplements to side view mirror systems and as an aid for detecting the presence of adjacent vehicles when making lane changes or merging maneuvers. Four side systems, two commercially available systems and two prototypes, were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Human Factors Evaluation of Existing Side Collision Avoidance System Driver Interfaces

1995-11-01
952659
This paper describes the assessment of driver interfaces of a type of electronics-based collision avoidance systems that has been recently developed to assist drivers of vehicles in avoiding certain types of collisions. The electronics-based crash avoidance systems studied were those which detect the presence of objects located on the left and/or right sides of the vehicle, called Side Collision Avoidance Systems, or SCAS. As many SCAS as could be obtained, including several pre-production prototypes, were acquired and tested. The testing focused on measuring sensor performance and assessing the qualities of the driver interfaces. This paper presents only the results of the driver interface assessments. The sensor performance data are presented in the NHTSA report “Development of Performance Specifications for Collision Avoidance Systems for Lane Changing, Merging, and Backing - Task 3 - Test of Existing Hardware Systems” [1].
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