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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

NHTSA's Compatibility Research Program Update

2001-03-05
2001-01-1167
This paper provides an update of NHTSA's research activities in vehicle compatibility and aggressivity. This paper pres ents new ly initiated efforts underw ay to develop test assessment meth odologie s intende d to evalua te vehic le compatibility. The rigid barrier load cell data collected from 18 years of the agency's New Car Assessment Program testing are reviewed to e valuate potentia l test measures that may be used to evaluate a vehic le's compatibility in vehicle-to-vehicle crashes. These parameters are then evaluated using a series of vehicle-to-vehic le and m oving deformable ba rrier (MDB)-to -veh icle tests. In these tests, the face of the MDB has been instrumented with an array of load cells to compute test measures. This study is part of NHTSA's ongoing compatib ility research program and is being coordinated with the IHRA compatibility group.
Technical Paper

Field test of a pedestrian safety zone program for older pedestrians

2001-06-04
2001-06-0104
The objectives of this study were to develop and apply procedures for defining pedestrian safety zones for the older (age 65+) adult and to develop, implement and evaluate a countermeasure program in the defined zones. Zone definition procedures were applied to two cities: Phoenix and Chicago. Extensive countermeasure programs were implemented in both cities. A complete crash-based evaluation was conducted only for the city of Phoenix where data showed significant reductions in zone crashes to 65+ pedestrians over a period in which the city's population and overall pedestrian crashes increased. It was concluded that the zone process resulted in an effective and efficient means of deploying pedestrian countermeasures for the older adult.
Technical Paper

Large school bus safety restraint evaluation

2001-06-04
2001-06-0158
This paper describes ongoing research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to evaluate the potential of safety restraints on large school buses. School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. Large school buses provide protection because of their visibility, size, and weight, as compared to other types of motor vehicles. Additionally, they are required to meet minimum Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) mandating compartmentalized seating, emergency exits, roof crush and fuel system integrity, and minimum bus body joint strength.
Technical Paper

NHTSA'S crashworthiness modelling activities

2001-06-04
2001-06-0178
NHTSA uses a variety of computer modelling techniques to develop and evaluate test methods and mitigation concepts, and to estimate safety benefits for many of NHTSA's research activities. Computer modeling has been particularly beneficial for estimating safety benefits where often very little data are available. Also modeling allows researchers to augment test data by simulating crashes over a wider range of conditions than would otherwise be feasible. These capabilities are used for a wide range of projects from school bus to frontal, side, and rollover research programs. This paper provides an overview of these activities. NHTSA's most extensive modeling research involves developing finite element and articulated mass models to evaluate a range of vehicles and crash environments. These models are being used to develop a fleet wide systems model for evaluating compatibility issues.
Technical Paper

NHTSA'S research program for vehicle aggressivity and fleet compatibility

2001-06-04
2001-06-0179
This paper presents an overview of NHTSA's vehicle aggressivity and fleet compatibility research activities. This research program is being conducted in close cooperation with the International Harmonized Research Agenda (IHRA) compatibility research group. NHTSA is monitoring the changing vehicle mix in the U.S. fleet, analyzing crash statistics, and evaluating any implications that these changes may have for U.S. occupant safety. NHTSA is also continuing full-scale crash testing to develop a better understanding of vehicle compatibility and to investigate test methods to assess vehicle compatibility.
Technical Paper

Simulations of large school bus safety restraints~NHTSA

2001-06-04
2001-06-0226
This paper describes computer crash simulations performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the current research and testing activities on large school bus safety restraints. The simulations of a frontal rigid barrier test and comparative dynamic sled testing for compartmentalization, lap belt, and lap/shoulder belt restraint strategies are presented. School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. School age children transported in school buses are safer than children transported in motor vehicles of any other type. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Further, they must meet minimum Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel systems, and better bus body joint strength.
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

Field Operational Test Results of An Automated Collision Notification System

2000-11-01
2000-01-C041
This paper describes a Field Operational Test (FOT) of an Automated Collision Notification (ACN) System, a new way to provide definitive pre- hospital medical care to people injured in motor vehicle crashes. This FOT is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) research being conducted under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program. Management of the program is by the Office of Vehicle Safety Research in NHTSA. The ACN FOT is a demonstration of the application of advanced technology for the improvement of pre-hospital emergency care for motor-vehicle crash victims. The test, involving approximately 850 volunteers' vehicles, was conducted in rural Western New York State. A partnership of local public agencies and private corporations, led by Veridian, Inc., performed the test.
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

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

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

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

A Database for Crash Avoidance Research

1987-02-23
870345
A database derived from information obtained in state police accident reports has been developed to support problem identification and counter-measure development in crash avoidance research. This database is sufficient in size to permit analyses of the relationship between specific vehicle design characteristics and crash involvement. Preliminary analyses of this database suggest that is is comparable with the nation's crash experience.
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