Automobile structures directly influence three aspects of automobile crashworthiness, (1) capacity for providing protection to car occupants, (2) behavior of other automobiles, and (3) interaction with pedestrians during various types of accidents. Current automobile structural crashworthiness research is primarily concerned with occupant protection with a secondary interest on the effect automobile structures have on other vehicles. Only limited effort is being directed towards vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Research priorities are based on available accident statistics where it is apparent that side and rollover type accidents result in as many serious injuries as frontal collisions with rear impacts as a relatively unimportant factor. Extensive crash data for production automobiles have been developed to (1) define current levels of structural performance and (2) identify areas where improvements are needed. Motor vehicles of various weight classes (luxury, full size, compact and subcompact) have been subjected to fixed object (pole and flat barriers) and intervehicular tests simulating loading conditions of severe real-world type accidents. Major effort has been directed towards development of crashworthy structures for full size automobiles. Reasonable passenger compartment integrity (occupant survival space) and accelerations have been obtained in extremely severe collisions. These protective measures are being incorporated into fully operational vehicles using typical automotive prototype fabrication techniques. Crashworthy techniques developed for full size vehicles are being extended to other vehicle classes (e.g., compacts and subcompacts). Greater emphasis is being placed on establishment of performance requirements within the overall motor vehicle population mix, resulting in the need for advancement of more efficient energy managing structures and devices. Although not a major consideration in present structural research, future effort must place greater emphasis on pedestrian protection. Work in this area has been retarded by a lack of problem definition and repeatable, meaningful test procedures. (A)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Vehicle Safety Research Integration Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 30-31, 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Calspan Corporation

    4455 Genesee Street
    Buffalo, NY  United States  14225
  • Authors:
    • MILLER, P M
  • Publication Date: 1971-5

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127303
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM