Objective: This study analyzed available rear impact sled tests with Starcraft-type seats that use a diagonal belt behind the seatback. The study focused on neck responses for out-of-position (OOP) and in-position seated dummies. Methods: Thirteen rear sled tests were identified with out-of-position and in-position 5 th , 50 th and 95 th Hybrid III dummies in up to 47.6 mph rear delta Vs involving Starcraft-type seats. The tests were conducted at Ford, Exponent and CSE. Seven KARCO rear sled tests were found with in-position 5 th and 50 th Hybrid III dummies in 21.1-29.5 mph rear delta Vs involving Starcraft-type seats. In all of the in-position and one of the out-of-position series, comparable tests were run with production seats. Biomechanical responses of the dummies and test videos were analyzed.
Purpose: This study presents cases of fracture-dislocation of the thoracic spine in extension during severe rear impacts. The mechanism of injury was investigated. Methods: Four crashes were investigated where a lap-shoulder-belted, front-seat occupant experienced fracture-dislocation of the thoracic spine and paraplegia in a severe rear impact. Police, investigator and medical records were reviewed, the vehicle was inspected and the seat detrimmed. Vehicle dynamics, occupant kinematics and injury mechanisms were determined in this case study. Results: Each case involved a lap-shoulder-belted occupant in a high retention seat with ≻1,700 Nm moment or ≻5.5 kN strength for rearward loading. The crashes were offset rear impacts with 40-56 km/h delta V involving under-ride or override by the impacting vehicle and yaw of the struck vehicle. In each case, the occupant's pelvis was restrained on the seat by the open perimeter frame of the seatback and lap belt.
This paper covers the development of the General Motors Energy Absorbing Steering System beginning with the work of the early crash injury pioneers Hugh DeHaven and Colonel John P. Stapp through developments and introduction of the General Motors energy absorbing steering system in 1966. evaluations of crash performance of the system, and further improvement in protective function of the steering assembly. The contributions of GM Research Laboratories are highlighted, including its safety research program. Safety Car, Invertube, the biomechanic projects at Wayne State University, and the thoracic and abdominal tolerance studies that lead to the development of the Viscous Injury Criterion and self-aligning steering wheel.
Measurement of chest compression is vital to properly assessing injury risk for restraint systems. It directly relates chest loading to the risk of serious or fatal compression injury for the vital organs protected by the rib cage. Other measures of loading such as spinal acceleration or total restraint load do not separate how much of the force is applied to the rib cage, shoulders, or lumbar and cervical spines. Hybrid III chest compression is biofidelic for blunt impact of the sternum, but is “stiff” for belt loading. In this study, an analysis was conducted of two published crash reconstruction studies involving belted occupants. This provides a basis for comparing occupant injury risks with Hybrid III chest compression in similar exposures. Results from both data sources were similar and indicate that belt loading resulting in 40 mm Hybrid III chest compression represents a 20-25% risk of an AIS≥3 thoracic injury.
Door armrests of different crush properties and placement were evaluated in a series of side impact sled tests. Three armrest designs were fabricated with an identical shape but different crush force. The crush properties covered a range in occupant protection systems based on knowledge of human tolerance in side impacts. With BioSID, the softest armrest produced the lowest compression and Viscous responses, and the probability of AIS 4+ injury was below 1%. The compression-based responses increased significantly in tests with armrests of a higher crush force. The profile of the stiffer armrests clearly protruded into the dummy, and the probability of serious injury was 86%-100% based on compression. With SID, the lowest TTI(d) was with the intermediate stiffness armrest. The SID dummy and TTI(d) criterion indicated a 4%-8% probability of AIS 4+ injury for all test conditions and armrest designs.
This paper reviews issues relating to seats including design for comfort and restraint, mechanics of discomfort and irritability, older occupants, and low-back pain. It focuses on the interface between seating technology and occupant comfort, and involves a technical review of medical-engineering information. The dramatic increase in the number of features currently available on seats outreaches the technical understanding of occupant accommodation and ride comfort. Thus, the current understanding of seat design parameters may not adequately encompass occupant needs. The review has found many pathways between seating features and riding comfort, each of which requires more specific information on the biomechanics of discomfort by pressure distribution, body support, ride vibration, material breathability, and other factors. These inputs stimulate mechanisms of discomfort that need to be quantified in terms of mechanical requirements for seat design and function.
Side impact pendulum tests were conducted on Eurosid I and Biosid to assess the biofidelity of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis, and determine injury tolerance levels. Each body region was impacted at 4.5, 6.7, and 9.4 m/s using test conditions which duplicate cadaver impacts with a 15 cm flat-circular 23.4 kg rigid mass. The cadaver database establishes human response and injury risk assessment in side impact. Both dummies showed better biofidelity when compared to the lowest-speed cadaver response corridor. At higher speeds, peak force was substantially higher. The average peak contact force was 1.56 times greater in Biosid and 2.19 times greater in Eurosid 1 than the average cadaver response. The Eurosid I abdomen had the most dissimilar response and lacks biofidelity. Overall, Biosid has better biofidelity than Eurosid I with an average 21% lower peak load and a closer match to the duration of cadaver impact responses for the three body regions.
Fatal crash circumstances for 48 belted female drivers were studied in-depth and compared to those of 83 belted male drivers in a similar population of vehicles. Women had a higher incidence of crashes on slippery roads, during lane changes and passing maneuvers than men who had a higher rate of aggressive driving and speed related crashes (χ2 = 10.47, p < 0.001). Driver-side damage was significantly more frequent in female than male crashes (χ2 = 5.74, p < 0.025) and women had a higher fraction of side impacts (45.9% v 31.4%) and crashes during daylight (87.0% v 72.3%, χ2 = 3.65, p < 0.05) than men. Women also had a higher fraction of potentially avoidable crashes than men (57.5% v 39.0%) and a lower involvement related to aggressive driving (10.6% v 25.6%). These differences were statistically significant (χ2 = 5.41, p < 0.025).
The causes for 131 fatal crashes of lap-shoulder belted occupants were analyzed for crash causation and avoidance opportunities. Fourteen crash scenarios were determined to depict the situation and circumstance of the accidents. Each scenario is discussed in relation to driver age, actions, behavior, errors and aggressiveness, as well as crash type and other factors influencing the crash. Nearly a third of crashes involved a rapid, unpredictable onset by reckless action or mistake of another driver. The remainder were caused by the driver of the case-vehicle. Some were single vehicle crashes primarily related to excessive speed, aggressive driving, and drifting out of lane. The others were multi-vehicle crashes due primarily to inadvertent errors. The most common errors were right-of-way violations at an intersection, loss of control on wet roads, impact of a stationary vehicle, and lane changing errors.
As the driving population ages, there is a need to understand the accident patterns of older drivers. Previous research has shown that side impact collisions, usually at an intersection, are a serious problem for the older driver in terms of injury outcome. This study compares the frequency of side impact, intersection collisions of different driver age groups using state and national police-reported accident data as well as an in-depth analysis of cases from a fatal accident study. All data reveal that the frequency of intersection crashes increases with driver age. The state and national data show that older drivers have an increase frequency of intersection crashes involving vehicles crossing paths prior to the collision compared to their involvement in all crash types. When taking into account traffic control devices at an intersection, older drivers have the greatest involvement of multiple vehicle crashes at a signed intersection.
The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from KARCO rear impact tests and to evaluate an injury predictive model based on crash severity and occupant weight presented by Saczalski et al. (2004). The KARCO tests were carried out with various seat designs. Biomechanical responses were evaluated in speed ranges of 7-12, 13-17, 18-23 and 24-34 mph. For this analysis, all tests with matching yielding and stiff seats and matching occupant size and weight were analyzed for cases without 2nd row occupant interaction. Overall, the test data shows that conventional yielding seats provide a high degree of safety for small to large adult occupants in rear crashes; this data is also consistent with good field performance as found in NASS-CDS. Saczalski et al.'s (2004) predictive model of occupant injury is not correct as there are numerous cases from NASS-CDS that show no or minor injury in the region where serious injury is predicted.
In this study, U.S. crash data was analyzed to better understand bounce-over rollovers. Crash data was reviewed to evaluate the distribution of bounce-over crashes and injuries, initiation objects and impact locations. In passenger cars, bounce-over crashes account for 8.4% of rollovers but involve 36.2% of the seriously injured belted drivers. Most bounce-overs are initiated by contact with narrow objects such as a pole, tree or barrier, or large objects such as a ditch or embankment. Contact often occurs in the front of the vehicle. After contact, the vehicle yaws and rolls, and serious injuries are often sustained to the head. Based on field data, a laboratory test was developed to simulate a narrow object bounce-over. The test consists of towing a vehicle laterally on a fixture towards a stationary, angled barrier resting in gravel. The moving fixture is decelerated and the vehicle is released. The vehicle front impacts the edge of the barrier, simulating a narrow object impact.
This paper provides an overview of rollover crash safety, including field crash statistics, pre- and rollover dynamics, test procedures and dummy responses as well as a bibliography of pertinent literature. Based on the 2001 Traffic Safety Facts published by NHTSA, rollovers account for 10.5% of the first harmful events in fatal crashes; but, 19.5% of vehicles in fatal crashes had a rollover in the impact sequence. Based on an analysis of the 1993-2001 NASS for non-ejected occupants, 10.5% of occupants are exposed to rollovers, but these occupants experience a high proportion of AIS 3-6 injury (16.1% for belted and 23.9% for unbelted occupants). The head and thorax are the most seriously injured body regions in rollovers. This paper also describes a research program aimed at defining rollover sensing requirements to activate belt pretensioners, roof-rail airbags and convertible pop-up rollbars.
Obesity rates are reaching an epidemic worldwide. In the US, nearly 40 million people are obese. The automotive safety community is starting to question the impact of obesity on occupant protection. This study investigates fatality and serious injury risks for front-seat occupants by Body Mass Index (BMI). NASS-CDS data was analyzed for calendar years 1993-2004. Occupant exposure and injury was divided in seven BMI categories with obese defined as those with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. Injuries were studied for drivers and right-front passengers and included analysis of lap-shoulder belted and unbelted occupants. The results show that obese occupants have a higher fatality risk compared to normal BMI occupants; morbidly obese occupants (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) have 2.25 times higher fatality risk (1.15% v 0.51%). The fatality risk for belted obese drivers was 0.29%, which was 6.7 times lower than the 1.94% for those unbelted. These rates are similar to other BMI occupants.
The objective of this study was to analyze available anthropomorphic test device (ATD) responses from FMVSS 301-type rear impact tests. Rear impact test data was obtained from NHTSA and consisted of dummy responses, test observations, photos and videos. The data was organized in four test series: 1) NCAP series of 30 New Car Assessment Program tests carried out at 35 mph with 1979-1980 model year vehicles, 2) Mobility series of 14 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1993 model year vehicles, 3) 301 MY 95+ series of 79 FMVSS 301 tests carried out at 30 mph with 1995-2005 model year vehicles and 4) ODB series of 17 Offset Deformable Barrier tests carried out at 50 mph with a 70% overlap using 1996-1999 model year vehicles. The results indicate very good occupant performance in yielding seats in the NCAP, Mobility and 301 MY 95+ test series.
Motorized shoulder belt tensioning is an occupant protection technology that has promise to reduce automotive crash injuries. The objective of this study was to model the response of a diverse forward-leaning occupant population (6-year-old child, 5th female, 50th male, 95th male) to shoulder belt tensioning during straight line pre-crash braking. The lumped mass model was based on experimental volunteer data for motorized shoulder belt tensioning gathered in a previous quasistatic study. The three dimensional model incorporated the biomechanical properties of the occupant populations, a motorized shoulder belt tensioner (DC motor and controller) and shoulder belt webbing models. Model validation was achieved against the volunteer experiments for angular torso position, torso velocity and shoulder belt moment applied to the torso.
Purpose: A better understanding of rear occupant fatality risks is needed to guide the development of safety improvements for 2nd and 3rd row occupants. This study investigates fatal accidents of 1st, 2nd and 3rd row occupants by principal direction of force (PDOF), irrespective of restraint use. It determined the number of fatalities, exposure and fatality risk. Methods: 1996-2005 FARS was analyzed for occupant fatalities by seating position (1st, 2nd and 3rd row) and principal direction of force (1-12 o'clock PDOF, rollover and other/unknown). Light vehicles were included with model year 1990+. 1996-2005 NASS-CDS was similarly analyzed for occupant exposure. Fatality risk was defined as the number of fatalities in FARS for a given category divided by the exposure from NASS-CDS. Results: Ten percent (9.6%) of fatalities were to 2nd row occupants in FARS. About 2,080 deaths occur to 2nd row occupants annually. 38.4% died in rollovers and 26.8% in frontal crashes.
Objective: This study addresses severe injury risks in rear impacts for front-outboard occupants using the seatback incline variable in NASS-CDS. Methods: Severe injury risk (MAIS 4+F) was determined for front-seat occupants in rear impacts involving passenger cars from 1995–2006 NASS-CDS data. The risk of severe injury to front-seat occupants was determined as a function of the rotated position of the seatback and crash severity in three delta V ranges: <20, 20–30, >30 mph. The data was also analyzed for newer model vehicles (≥1997 MY) to assess changes with newer seats and head restraints. The effects of seatbelt use, occupant age and BMI (Body Mass Index) were also examined. Individual NASS-CDS electronic cases were also reviewed with MAIS 4+F injury. There were 25 injured occupants in rotated seats and 46 in non-rotated seats. Results: Severe injury risk for front-seat occupants in rear impacts is lower with a rotated seatback in the most severe rear crashes.
Objective: A friction rollover test was conducted as part of a rollover sensing project. This study evaluates vehicle and occupant responses in the test. Methods: A flat dolly carried a Saab 9-3 sedan laterally, passenger-side leading to a release point at 42 km/h (26 mph) onto a high-friction surface. The vehicle was equipped with roll, pitch and yaw gyros near the center of gravity. Accelerometers were placed at the vehicle center tunnel, A-pillar near the roof, B-pillar near the sill, suspension sub-frame and wheels. Five off-board and two on-board cameras recorded kinematics. Hybrid III dummies were instrumented for head and chest acceleration and upper neck force and moment. Belt loads were measured. Results: The vehicle release caused the tires and then wheel rims to skid on the high-friction surface. The trip involved roll angular velocities >300 deg/s at 0.5 s and a far-side impact on the driver’s side roof at 0.94 s. The driver was inverted in the far-side, ground impact.