In an effort to reduce accident ejection rates on the nation's roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating possible benefits of upgrading longitudinal and lateral door latch strength. Also, the NHTSA is considering alternative door latch system testing methods, both static and dynamic, in order to represent accident loading conditions. Research and Development analyzed accident cases and has identified that door latch activation may be a potential door opening mechanism. An evaluation of door latch linkage systems indicated that the latch was activated by a small static lateral displacement of the linkage. The objective of this study was to simulate the impact of an occupant with the interior panel of a vehicle side door to determine if such an occurrence can laterally displace the linkage enough to activate the latch. Testing for this study consisted of impacting a rigid, 80 lb mass (approximate mass of a human upper body) with the interior panel of a side door at speeds ranging from 10 to 20 mph. Impact locations were subjectively chosen as the most susceptible point, along the linkage, for latch activation. Four vehicles were utilized for testing and impacts were performed on the front doors. For each vehicle tested, there were no latch activations, no latch/striker failures, and no door openings. The results of this study indicate that latch activation due solely to occupant impact with the interior of a side door is not likely.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 77 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719442
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-041 837
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 20 1996 12:00AM