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Journal Article

Vehicle and Occupant Responses in a Friction Trip Rollover Test

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.
Technical Paper

Use of Repeated Crash-Tests to Determine Local Longitudinal and Shear Stiffness of the Vehicle Front with Crush

Crash-test-data on local longitudinal and shear stiffness of the vehicle front is needed to estimate impact severity from car deformation in offset or pole impacts, and to predict vehicle acceleration and compartment intrusion in car-to-car crashes. Repeated full frontal crash-tests were carried out with a load-cell barrier to determine the local longitudinal stiffness with increasing crush. Repeated off-set tests were run to determine shear stiffness. Two single high-speed tests (full frontal and offset) were carried out and compared to the repeated tests to determine the rate sensitivity of the front structure. Four repetitions at 33.4 km/h provided equivalent energy absorption to a single 66.7 km/h test, when rebound was considered. Power-train inertial effects were estimated from highspeed tests with and without power-train. Speed effects averaged 2% per [m/s] for crush up to power-train impact, and post-crash measurements were a reasonable estimate of front-structure stiffness.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Injury Assessment of Belt Restraint Systems Based on Hybrid III Chest Compression

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.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact: New Experimental Approaches Leading to Model Synthesis

Abstract The following work was done in support of a continuing program to better characterize the behavior of the human chest during blunt sternal impact. Previous work on this problem has focused on determining the force-time, deflection-time, and force-deflection response of embalmed and fresh cadavers to impact by a 15 cm (6 in) diameter striker of variable mass traveling at velocities of 22.5-51 km/h (14-32 mph) and striking the sternum at the level of the fourth intercostal space. Additional questions persist concerning whether the anterior and posterior regions of the chest behave as highly damped masses or oscillate after impact, the relationship between force delivered to the surface of the body and the acceleration of the underlying regions, and the influence of air compressed in the lung on thoracic mechanics.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact: A Viscous Tolerance Criterion

Abstract There are currently two accepted criteria for assessment act exposures. Our studies have shown an interaction between the deformation velocity and level of compression during impact, resulting in a greater compression tolerance for low-speed impact than for high-speed loadings. High-speed thoracic impact can cause critical or fatal injury in physiologic experiments before exceeding the acceleration or compression tolerance. The velocity-sensitive tolerance is represented by the maximum product of velocity of deformation and compression, which is derivable from the chest compression response. As the magnitude of this “viscous” response increases, the risk of serious or fatal injury increases. This paper discusses the analysis of available literature and results from our laboratory and demonstrates the need for a viscous tolerance criterion to assess chest impact protection in high-velocity impact.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact Response of Live Porcine Subjects

Abstract Five anesthetized porcine subjects were exposed to blunt thoracic impact using a 21 kg mass with a flat contact surface traveling at 3.0 to 12.2 m/s. The experiments were conducted to assess the appropriateness of studying in vivo mechanical and physiological response to thoracic impact in a porcine animal model. A comprehensive review of comparative anatomy between the pig and man indicates that the cardiovascular, respiratory and thoracic skeletal systems of the pig are anatomically and functionally a good parallel of similar structures in man. Thoracic anthropometry measurements document that the chest of a 50 to 60 kg pig is similar to the 50th percentile adult male human, but is narrower and deeper. Peak applied force and chest deflection are in good agreement between the animal's responses and similar impact severity data on fresh cadavers.
Technical Paper

Theories, Facts and Issues About Recliner and Track Release of Front Seats in Rear Impacts

Objective: This study involved a number of different tests addressing theories for recliner and track release of front seats in rear impacts. It addressed the validity of the theories. Method: This study reports on several separate bench and sled tests addressing claims made about recliner and track release of front seats in rear impacts. The following theories were evaluated to see if they were true or a myth: • Recliner teeth slipping with minimal damage to the teeth • Recliner teeth bypass by disengage and re-engage under load without damaging the teeth • Recliner shaft bending and torque releasing the recliners • Track release by heel loading • Track release with occupant load on the seat: • Recliner handle rotation causes recliner release • Double pull body block tests: Results: Many of the theories were found to be myths once actual test data was available to judge the merits of the theory. Data from the tests and images from high-speed movies provide factual information.
Technical Paper

The Viscous Criterion - Bases and Applications of an Injury Severity Index for Soft Tissues

The discovery of the mechanism of impact-induced soft tissue injury has led to our introduction of a Viscous Injury Criterion, which predicts the severity and the time of occurrence of soft tissue injury induced by impact when other criteria have failed. Human tolerance has been defined by the Viscous response, [VC], a time function generated by the instantaneous product of velocity of deformation [V(t)] and amount of compression [C(t)] of the body. [VC]max = 1.0 m/s corresponds experimentally to a 25% chance of sustaining severe thoracic injury (AIS ≥ 4) in a blunt frontal impact. A similar level of risk for critical abdominal injury (AIS ≥ 5) in a blunt frontal impact is [VC]max = 1.2 m/s. However, human tolerance is defined more completely by the probability function of injury risk versus [VC]max. The Viscous response can be evaluated in the Hybrid III anthropomorphic dummy by a straightforward analysis of the chest deflection data.
Journal Article

The Hybrid III Dummy Family Subject to Loading by a Motorized Shoulder Belt Tensioner

Motorized shoulder belt tensioning is a new automotive seatbelt technology which has shown promise to reduce automotive crash injuries. The current study was conducted to determine if the Hybrid III family of dummies is an appropriate biofidelic surrogate for studying motorized shoulder belt tensioning. The objective was to measure torso retraction time, torso position, torso velocity, internal resistive moment, changes in torso curvature and the center of rotation of torso extension during seatbelt tensioning for the Hybrid III family. A previous study developed a protocol and test fixture to measure the biomechanics of volunteers subject to quasi-static loading by a motorized shoulder belt tensioner. A fixture supported the occupant leaning forward and applied shoulder belt tension. Kinematics were quantified by analyzing the motion of reflective markers on the dummy using an eight camera digital video system. A three axis load cell measured internal resistance to extension.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Limiting Impact Force on Abdominal Injury: A Preliminary Study

This report describes a series of experiments using Hexcel(TM) to limit the impact force in lateral abdominal impacts. Two hundred fourteen (214) anesthetized New Zealand White rabbits were impacted at 5 to 15 m/s using a pneumatic impactor. Injury responses from tests with a force-limiting impact interface (94 tests) were compared with the responses from tests with a rigid impact interface (120 tests) having the same level of lateral abdominal compression. The Hexcel had a length of 3 inches, the same diameter as the rigid impactor, and crushed at a constant force (pressure level of 232 kPa (33 psi)) once deformation was initiated. The results of these tests showed that the probability of serious abdominal injury did not change significantly with the Hexcel, even though peak pressures were reduced to as little as one third of their previous values.

The Debate Between Stiff and Yielding Seats

In 1967, Derwyn M. Severy and his colleagues published several SAE papers that demonstrated improvements in occupant retention with rigid (stiff) seats, sparking a debate that lasted for nearly four decades. The Debate Between Stiff and Yielding Seats presents an interesting and informative history of this debate, delving into the many questions and answers that continue to surround each of these seat types. The Debate Between Stiff and Yielding Seats begins with new material from editor David C. Viano, explaining the key factors that allowed the debate to be resolved. The publication then analyzes the effects of stiff and yielding seats on various crash scenarios, followed by an exploration of high retention seats. Patent information, new studies, and historical information are also included, making this comprehensive collection an essential resource for any safety professional's library.
Technical Paper

Test Dummy Interaction with a Shoulder or Lap Belt

Abstract Belt interaction with the dummy's chest or pelvis was investigated during simulated frontal decelerations to develop a better understanding of the mechanics of belt restraint. Hyge sled tests were conducted at acceleration levels of 6-16 g's with a Part 572 dummy forward facing on an automotive bucket seat. Dynamics were compared in similar tests where the dummy was restrained by a conventional shoulder belt or belt segments attached to a modified sternum - a steel sternum with extensions for fixed belt attachments. Tests were also conducted with a conventional lap belt or belt segments fixed to an extension of the H point. Deformation characteristics of the standard and modified thorax were determined for a lateral and superior point load or a belt yoke compression of the sternum. The pelvic structure was also compressed by a lap belt. Our evaluation of test dummy dynamics indicates the following sequence of events with a conventional shoulder belt: 1.)
Technical Paper

Stiff versus Yielding Seats: Analysis of Matched Rear Impact Tests

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.
Technical Paper

Significance of Rate of Onset in Impact Injury Evaluation

Abstract The concept of rate of onset as an injury potential index is critically discussed through the analysis of a wide range of noninjurious whole body decelerations and localized impacts. Examination of the physical data shows that extremely high rates of onset are tolerable without injury and that these levels of rate of onset are reciprocally dependent on the pulse rise time. The physical data is next discussed with reference to existing acceleration injury criteria, specifically the GSI and HIC indices. This work substantiates the conclusions that a single rate of onset tolerance level is not warranted and that rate of onset is not a proven injury potential index.
Technical Paper

Significance of Intersection Crashes for Older Drivers

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.
Technical Paper

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

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

Sensitivity of Porcine Thoracic Responses and Injuries to Various Frontal and A Lateral Impact Site

Classical blunt thoracic impacts have involved midsternal anteroposterior loadings to an upright-positioned subject. Data on the sensitivity of human cadaver and/or animal model biomechanical and injury responses to blunt loadings at different sternal locations is needed to evaluate the efficacy of current injury-potential guidelines for nonsite-specific frontal impacts. In addition, the biomechanics and injury mechanisms associated with lateral impacts constitute a subject of increasing consideration for occupant protection. Twelve anesthetized pigs were subjected to various blunt frontal or a right-side impact to assess biomechanical and injury response differences in a living animal model.
Technical Paper

Safety of a Downsized Vehicle Fleet: Effects of Mass Distribution, Impact Speed and Inherent Protection in Car-To-Car Crashes

Vehicle fleet downsizing has been discussed in Europe as an aspect to reduce fuel emissions. A recently developed mathematical model was used to study the individual effects of fleet mass distribution, impact speed reductions and inherent vehicle protection on average injury and fatality rates for downsized fleets. A baseline fleet of 700-2000 kg was downsized by a) reducing all vehicle masses by 10% or 20% and b) by removing all cars heavier than 1400 or 1200 kg. The results showed that the safety can be maintained if the vehicle masses are reduced proportionally to their original mass. A higher safety level can be achieved by removing the heavier vehicles. Traffic safety can be further enhanced by impact speed reductions or by improvements of restraint systems and vehicle compatibility.
Technical Paper

Rollover Crash Sensing and Safety Overview

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.

Role of the Seat in Rear Crash Safety

Role of the Seat in Rear Crash Safety addresses the historic debate over seatback stiffness, energy absorbing yielding, occupant retention and whiplash prevention; and it provides a scientific foundation for the direction GM pursued in the development and validation of future seat designs. It also describes the multi-year research study into the role of the seat in rear crash safety - first by addressing the need for occupant retention in the more severe rear crashes; and then by addressing the needs for an adequately positioned head restraint and changes in the compliance of the seatback to lower the risks of the whiplash in low-speed crashes.