Although rear impact accidents produce relatively few severe injuries, National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System database analysis has determined that rear impact accidents are second only to frontal impacts in terms of cost to society. This paper discusses a new system level approach for rear impact occupant protection. After reviewing automotive safety research, it is proposed that optimized rear impact protection is offered by supporting the vehicle occupant's head, neck, and torso in rear impact accidents. An unfurled air bag has been developed that provides energy absorption for the torso by deploying inside the seat back cushion and extending vertically to support the occupant's head. Preliminary dynamic testing indicates that the rear impact air bag allows the occupant to ride down the cushion onto the seat back structure, reducing 50% Hybrid III Male Anthropomorphic Test Dummy injury scores.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was presented at one of the Air Bags sessions of the 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition and is included in the SAE Special Publication, "Air Bag Technology 1999" (SP-1411).
  • Corporate Authors:

    Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

    400 Commonwealth Drive
    Warrendale, PA  United States  15096
  • Authors:
    • Keller, G J
    • Miller, H J
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1999-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 109-117
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00768978
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0768003431
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 1999-01-1066
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 29 1999 12:00AM