EFFECTS OF SIDE IMPACT PADDING ON DRIVER PERFORMANCE

A three phase study was undertaken to design and evaluate an acceptable side door padding panel which did not degrade the driver's ability to control a vehicle. In Task 1, drivers' lateral clearance requirements were determined by filming test subjects performing a representative series of driving maneuvers. The films were digitized to create time histories of the left elbow, from which a padding design concept was derived. In Task 2, two prototype test panels were fabricated from the design concept developed in Task 1. An experimental program was conducted, whereby the performance of the test subjects on a double lane change maneuver with the test panels installed was compared to their performance with a standard side door panel. Finally, a brief consumer survey was accomplished, in an effort to obtain estimates of the likelihood that vehicles with similar side door panels would be accepted in the marketplace. It was concluded that: 1) the side door padding concept had the potential to be accepted by consumers, and 2) a small, but statistically reliable, decrement in driver performance was caused by the prototype padding configuration. However, it was suggested that this performance decrement might have a negligible effect on the probability of an accident, which would be more than counterbalanced by the increased driver protection afforded by the side door padding.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Calspan Advanced Technology Center

    4455 Genesee Street
    Buffalo, NY  United States  14225

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Baum, A S
    • Gawron, V J
    • Naab, K N
  • Publication Date: 1984-1

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 94 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00394321
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 6970-V-1 Final Rpt., HS-806 628
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-C-81-07256
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1985 12:00AM