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Technical Paper

Brake System Safety Analysis

An important new technique in safety engineering for complex systems is the fault tree analysis method. The results of a motor vehicle brake system safety analysis using the fault tree technique are described. The work is directed toward the identification and ranking of brake system failure modes which may be critical as accident causation factors. Safety criticality for each failure mode is defined as the product of probability of occurrence and severity of effect on vehicle control. Failure data for the brake system components are obtained from maintenance and repair records of a large automobile leasing fleet. An effect scale is developed using a method for pooling expert judgements to obtain the relative ranking of various brake faults as to accident causation potential. The fault tree structure is employed to combine probability and effect to obtain the safety criticality value of each fault.
Technical Paper

A Statistical Analysis of Vehicle Rollover Propensity and Vehicle Stability

This report documents the accident data collection, processing and analysis methodology used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a major agency agency investigation of the rollover propensity of light duty vehicles. Specifically, these efforts were initiated in response to two petitions for rulemaking requesting the development of a standard for rollover stability. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the ability of a number of stability measures to predict vehicle rollover propensity, while accounting for a number of driver and environmental factors. It is not the intent of this paper to document formal agency policy in the area of any possible rulemaking efforts, and as such, references to these activities are not discussed. The reader can obtain information on this activity through normal agency procedures.
Technical Paper

A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of the Human Brain Under Combined Rotational and Translational Accelerations

Finite element modelling has been used to study the evolution of strain in a model of the human brain under impulsive acceleration loadings. A cumulative damage measure, based on the calculation of the volume fraction of the brain that has experienced a specific level of stretch, is used as a possible predictor for deformation-related brain injury. The measure is based on the maximum principal strain calculated from an objective strain tensor that is obtained by integration of the rate of deformation gradient with appropriate accounting for large rotations. This measure is used here to evaluate the relative effects of rotational and translational accelerations, in both the sagittal and coronal planes, on the development of strain damage in the brain. A new technique for the computational treatment of the brain-dura interface is suggested and used to alleviate the difficulties in the explicit representation of the cerebrospinal fluid layer existing between the two solid materials.
Technical Paper

Variability of Hybrid III Clearance Dimensions within the FMVSS 208 and NCAP Vehicle Test Fleets and the Effects of Clearance Dimensions on Dummy Impact Responses

Locations of key body segments of Hybrid III dummies used in FMVSS 208 compliance tests and NCAP tests were measured and subjected to statistical analysis. Mean clearance dimensions and their standard deviations for selected body segments of driver and passenger occupants with respect to selected vehicle surfaces were determined for several classes of vehicles. These occupant locations were then investigated for correlation with impact responses measured in crash tests and by using a three dimensional human-dummy mathematical model in comparable settings. Based on these data, the importance of some of the clearance dimensions between the dummy and the vehicle surfaces was determined. The study also compares observed Hybrid III dummy positions within selected vehicles with real world occupant positions reported in published literature.