The Influence of Vehicle-to-Ground Impact Conditions on Rollover Dynamics and Severity
This paper explores the influence of the impact conditions on the dynamics and the severity of rollover crashes. Causal connections are sought between the impact conditions and the crash attributes to which they lead. The paper begins by extending previously presented equations that describe the dynamics of an idealized vehicle-to-ground impact. It then considers the behavior of these equations under a variety of impact conditions that occur during real-world rollovers. Specifically, the equations of this impact model are used to explore the ways in which and the extent to which rollover dynamics and severity are influenced by the following factors: (1) the vehicle's shape and its orientation at impact, (2) its weight, center-of-mass location, and roll moment of inertia, (3) its translational speed, (4) its downward velocity, and (5) its roll velocity. Throughout this discussion, data from real-world and staged rollover crashes is used to give the parameter study an empirical basis.