AN INVESTIGATION OF SOME RESPONSES OF AN OUT-OF-POSITION DRIVER IN AN ACRS-EQUIPPED OLDSMOBILE DURING CRASH INDUCED BAG DEPLOYMENT

A study was conducted to investigate the undesirable side effects of inflating a driver air bag system against a forward positioned occupant. The study was at least suggested by an accident which occurred in February 1976 in Memphis, Tennessee, in which the driver of an ACRS-equipped Oldsmobile died as the car struck a utility pole at a speed below the 30 mph design speed of the system. A series of curb rideover tests and a pole impact test were conducted to consider the general problem of occupants positioned forward against inflating air bags and specifically to note any similarities with the Memphis accident. Conclusions from the tests were: that the GM ACRS steering column has a tendency to stroke further for a given crash pulse when the driver is positioned against the wheel; and, the assault to the larynx cause of death hypothesis of the MDAI team could neither be supported or refuted by analyzing the test data. Recommendations are given for reducing the weight of the air bag cover to reduce the undemonstrated possibility of bag-induced injuries to the head/neck area.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared in cooperation with Ultrasystems, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz. Dynamic Science Div.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Office of Vehicle Research, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    Ultrasystems, Incorporated

    Dynamic Science Division, 1850 West Pinnacle Peak Road
    Phoenix, AZ  USA  85027
  • Authors:
    • Biss, D J
  • Publication Date: 1977-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: 69 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00159303
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-HS-802 315
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1978 12:00AM