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Technical Paper

Front-Seat Occupant Injuries in Rear Impacts: Analysis of the Seatback Incline Variable in NASS-CDS

2009-04-20
2009-01-1200
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.
Journal Article

Vehicle and Occupant Responses in a Friction Trip Rollover Test

2009-04-20
2009-01-0830
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.
Journal Article

Front Seat Performance in Rear Impacts: Effect on 1st and 2nd Row Occupant Injury

2009-04-20
2009-01-0252
Purpose: This study analyzes the effect of front seat performance on occupant injury in rear crashes where there is a 2nd row passenger seated behind the front occupant. Methods: The study was carried out for rear impact crashes in the 1991–2006 NASS-CDS. Only cases where there was a 2nd row occupant seated behind an occupied front seat were chosen. Serious injury (MAIS 3+F) was determined for the front and 2nd row occupants. The performance of the front seat was determined using eight NASS-CDS investigator categories, including no failure, seat failure of the adjuster, seatback or track-anchor and seat deformation by the occupant or intrusion. The rear crashes were subdivided into four severities (<15, 15–25, 25–45 and >45 mph). The risk for serious injury was determined for each category of seat performance. Next, individual cases were reviewed from the online NASS electronic files to better understand the determination of seat performance by the NASS-CDS investigators.
Technical Paper

Influence of Seating Position on Dummy Responses with ABTS Seats in Severe Rear Impacts

2009-04-20
2009-01-0250
Objective: This study analyzes rear sled tests with a 95th% male and 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in various seating positions on ABTS (All Belt to Seat) seats in severe rear impact tests. Dummy interactions with the deforming seatback and upper body extension around the seat frame are considered. Methods: The 1st series involved an open sled fixture with a Sebring ABTS seat at 30 mph rear delta V. A 95th% Hybrid III dummy was placed in four different seating positions: 1) normal, 2) leaning inboard, 3) leaning forward and inboard, and 4) leaning forward and outboard. The 2nd series used a 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in a Grand Voyager body buck at 25 mph rear delta V. The dummy was leaned forward and inboard on a LeSabre ABTS or Voyager seat. The 3rd series used a 5th% female Hybrid III dummy in an Explorer body buck at 26 mph rear delta V. The dummy was leaned forward and inboard on a Sebring ABTS or Explorer seat.
Journal Article

Jaw Loading Response of Current ATDs

2009-04-20
2009-01-0388
Biomechanical surrogates are used in various forms to study head impact response in automotive applications and for assessing helmet performance. Surrogate headforms include those from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and the many variants of the Hybrid III. However, the response of these surrogates to loading at the chin and how that response may affect the loads transferred from the jaw to the rest of the head are unknown. To address part of that question, the current study compares the chin impact response performance of select human surrogates to that of the cadaver. A selection of Hybrid III and NOCSAE based surrogates with fixed and articulating jaws were tested under drop mass impact conditions that were used to describe post mortem human subject (PMHS) response to impacts at the chin (Craig et al., 2008). Results were compared to the PMHS response with cumulative variance technique (Rhule et al., 2002).
Technical Paper

Fracture-Dislocation of the Thoracic Spine in Extension by Upright Seats in Severe Rear Crashes

2011-04-12
2011-01-0274
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.
Technical Paper

Rear Impact Tests of Starcraft-Type Seats with Out-of-Position and In-Position Dummies

2011-04-12
2011-01-0272
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.
Journal Article

Basilar Skull Fractures by Crash Type and Injury Source

2011-04-12
2011-01-1126
Purpose: This study investigates NASS-CDS data on basilar skull fractures by crash type and injury source for various crash scenarios to understand the injury risks, injury mechanisms and contact sources. Methods: 1993-2008 NASS-CDS data was used to study basilar skull fractures in adult front occupants by crash type and injury source. Injury risks were determined using weighted data for occupants with known injury status in 1994+ model year vehicles. In-depth analysis was made of far-side occupants in side impacts and rear crashes using the NASS electronic cases. Results: Basilar skull fractures occur in 0.507 ± 0.059% of rollovers and 0.255 ± 0.025% of side impacts. The lowest risk is in rear impacts at 0.015 ± 0.007%. The most common contact source is the roof, side rails and header (39.0%) in rollovers, the B-pillar (25.8%) in side impacts and head restraint (55.3%) in rear crashes.
Technical Paper

Fatalities by Seating Position and Principal Direction of Force (PDOF) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Row Occupants

2008-05-12
2008-01-1850
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.
Technical Paper

Field Accident Data Analysis of 2nd Row Children and Individual Case Reviews

2008-05-12
2008-01-1851
Child safety is an important issue. The objective of this study was to analyze field accident data for 0-7 year old children in the 2nd row by vehicle and crash type, irrespective of restraint use. The data was obtained from NASS-CDS for calendar years 1991-2005. Accidents were selected based on 2nd row occupancy in towaway light vehicles with model year 1990 or newer. Side impacts caused 30.9% of serious-to-fatal injury (MAIS 3+F) to 2nd row children followed by frontal impacts (29.8%), rollovers (24.4%) and rear crashes (15.0%). The highest risk for MAIS 3+F was in rollovers (2.8 ± 0.7%) followed by rear (1.4 ± 0.4%), side (1.0 ± 0.2%) and frontal (0.46 ± 0.10%) crashes. The differences are statistically significant (p <0.01). Individual rear and frontal impact cases were also reviewed to better understand injury mechanisms of children in the 2nd row. The cases were obtained from the 1997-2005 NASS-CDS electronic database.
Technical Paper

Serious Injury in Very-Low and Very-High Speed Rear Impacts

2008-04-14
2008-01-1485
The objective of this study was to analyze rear crashes for the risk of serious injury (AIS 3+) by delta V. Rear impacts were analyzed for occupants sitting in front seats of light vehicles. Data was obtained from NASS-CDS for calendar years 1991-2004. Tow-away crashes with ≤15 mph rear delta V account for 67% of rear impacts and 15% of serious injury. Even for crashes <30 mph delta V, the risk for serious injury is only 0.24% (less than 1 per 420 exposed occupants). Risks increase for higher delta Vs. Individual cases in the 1997-2004 NASS-CDS electronic database were reviewed for serious injury in crashes with ≤15 mph delta V and ≥35 mph for light vehicles with calendar year >1996 to better understand injury mechanisms. Nine cases were available where a front-seat occupant was seriously injured in ≤15 mph rear delta V impact. Most cases involved older occupants, some of whom had stenosis of the cervical spine.
Technical Paper

Near and Far-Side Adult Front Passenger Kinematics in a Vehicle Rollover

2001-03-05
2001-01-0176
In this study, U.S. accident data was analyzed to determine interior contacts and injuries for front-seated occupants in rollovers. The injury distribution for belted and unbelted, non-ejected drivers and right front passengers (RFP) was assessed for single-event accidents where the leading side of the vehicle rollover was either on the driver or passenger door. Drivers in a roll-left and RFP in roll-right rollovers were defined as near-side occupants, while drivers in roll-right and RFP in roll-left rollovers were defined as far-side occupants. Serious injuries (AIS 3+) were most common to the head and thorax for both the near and far-side occupants. However, serious spinal injuries were more frequent for the far-side occupants, where the source was most often coded as roof, windshield and interior.
Technical Paper

Neck Biomechanical Responses with Active Head Restraints: Rear Barrier Tests with BioRID and Sled Tests with Hybrid III

2002-03-04
2002-01-0030
Active head restraints are being used to reduce the risk of whiplash in rear crashes. However, their evaluation in laboratory tests can vary depending on the injury criteria and test dummy. The objective of this study was to conduct barrier tests with BioRID and sled tests with Hybrid III to determine the most meaningful responses related to whiplash risks in real-world crashes. This study involved: (1) twenty-four rear barrier tests of the Saab 9000, 900, 9-3 and 9-5 with two fully instrumented BioRID dummies placed in the front or rear seats and exposed to 24 and 48.3 km/h barrier impacts, and (2) twenty rear sled tests at 5-38 km/h delta V in three series with conventional, modified and SAHR seats using the Hybrid III dummy. A new target superposition method was used to track head displacement and rotation with respect to T1. Insurance data on whiplash claims was compared to the dummy responses.
Technical Paper

Rollover Crash Sensing and Safety Overview

2004-03-08
2004-01-0342
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.
Technical Paper

Bounce-Overs: Fixed Object Impacts Followed by Rollovers

2004-03-08
2004-01-0334
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.
Technical Paper

Case Study of Vehicle Maneuvers Leading to Rollovers: Need for a Vehicle Test Simulating Off-Road Excursions, Recovery and Handling

2003-03-03
2003-01-0169
Rollovers are an important vehicle safety issue. Various technologies have been developed to help prevent rollovers from occurring, but the evaluation of rollover resistance typically involves vehicle-handling tests that are conducted on flat road surfaces with a uniform or split coefficient of friction. The purpose of this study is to determine the precipitating events leading to rollovers by analyzing real-world rollover crashes. This is a first step in identifying and developing vehicle tests that are representative of the principal driving scenarios leading to rollovers. The sequence of events leading to rollovers was determined from 63 in-depth investigated cases in the NASS-CDS database from 1995-1999. The sequence was evaluated by vehicle maneuvers, vehicle stability, surface type, road and shoulder transition condition, posted and estimated speeds, vehicle type and driver injury severity.
Technical Paper

Energy Transfer to an Occupant in Rear Crashes: Effect of Stiff and Yielding Seats

2003-03-03
2003-01-0180
For several decades, there has been a debate on the safety merits of yielding and rigidized (stiff) seats. In 1995, GM adopted requirements for high retention seats and introduced a new generation of yielding seatbacks. These seats have the same stiffness as the yielding seats of the 1980s and early 1990s, but have a strong frame structure and recliners to substantially limit seatback rotation in severe rear crashes. The yielding behavior is given by compliance of the seat suspension across the side structures and an open perimeter frame, which allows the occupant to penetrate into the seatback. The purpose of this study is to compare the energy transfer characteristics and occupant dynamics of yielding and stiff seats in 35 km/h and 16 km/h rear crashes. Based on benchmarking tests, the stiff seatback is defined as one having a 40 kN/m stiffness in rearward loading by a Hybrid dummy.
Technical Paper

High Retention Seat Performance in Quasistatic Seat Tests

2003-03-03
2003-01-0173
A new generation of seats has been designed to specifications for high retention (HR) in a Quasistatic Seat Test (QST). The QST involves occupant loading of the seat in a rearward direction and targets peak H-point moment to >1700 Nm giving an energy transfer capability of 2000 J. QST tests from 1998-2000 were compared to results from pre-HR seat designs of the late 1980s and early 1990s to determine performance improvements. Twenty-seven QST tests of HR seats were randomly selected from a larger series and were evaluated for strength and seat deformation under occupant loading. They represented 20 different seat types from four suppliers. Averages and standard deviations in QST results were computed. In addition, eight repeat tests were conducted with one seat to determine repeatability of the QST. These data were compared to an earlier repeatability study of the 1994 W pre-HR seat, which was evaluated at two facilities.
Technical Paper

Field Data Analysis of Rear Occupant Injuries Part II: Children, Toddlers and Infants

2003-03-03
2003-01-0154
Child safety continues to be an important issue in automotive safety for many reasons, including reported cases of serious injury from airbag deployments. As a result of extensive public education campaigns, most children are now placed in rear seats of vehicles. Accordingly, a more precise understanding of rear-seat occupant protection is developing as the second and third rows have become the primary seating area for children in SUVs, vans and passenger cars. The objective of this study was to review field crash and injury data from rear seats, identify the distribution of children and infants in rear seats, and analyze injury risks in various crash modes. The database used was the 1991-1999 NASS-CDS. When looking at crash configurations for 1st and 2nd row children, rollover crashes involved the highest incidence of MAIS 3+ injury, followed by frontal and side impacts. Lap-shoulder belt usage was similar for 1st and 2nd row children.
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