Biomechanical Analysis of Indy Race Car Crashes
This paper describes the results of an ongoing project in the GM Motorsports Safety Technology Research Program to investigate Indianapolis-type (Indy car) race car crashes using an on-board impact recorder as the primary data collection tool. The paper discusses the development of specifications for the impact-recording device, the selection of the specific recorder and its implementation on a routine basis in Indy car racing. The results from incidents that produced significant data (crashes with peak decelerations above 20 G) during the racing seasons from 1993 through the first half of 1998 are summarized. The focus on Indy car crashes has proven to provide an almost laboratory-like setting due to the similarity of the cars and to the relative simplicity of the crashes (predominantly planar crashes involving single car impacts against well-defined impact surfaces).