This article discusses appropriate testing of a car's crashworthiness. Renault objects to the present standard test, a 30 mph head-on collision with a fixed barrier. The firm says that most crash injuries are less severe than would be caused by such a collision. In most crashes two cars meet obliquely. A car is stiffest, and thus most dangerous to its occupants, in a head-on crash, and less rigid in an oblique crash. Energy is also absorbed, in a real accident, in sliding against an obstacle, or in rotation, again lessening injury. The nature of the obstacle also determines injury. Photographs show more damage to a car which hit a barrier at 31 mph than to one which hit a smaller car at a combined speed of 62 mph. For human injury it is the velocity of the second collision with the car interior or seat belt which matters, while damage to the car depends on the difference of squares of the initial and final speeds. Doubling the speed of a collision does not necessarily double the severity of the injury it causes. Renault wants US crash tests to use an oblique rather than head-on crash. UK researchers favour an offset head-on collision, saying that an oblique crash test is too easy to comply with. /TRRL/

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    IPC Magazines

    66-69 Great Queens Street
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  • Publication Date: 1975-1-23


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 204
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 65
    • Issue Number: 933
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00125079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 18 1975 12:00AM