2004 Vehicle Rear Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts extensive crash testing, the primary goal of which is to evaluate a vehicle's occupant protection capability. During much of this testing, residual crush data is also recorded. This paper presents this residual data from individual crash test reports for 5 vehicle models. Test speeds and crush dimensions were converted to English units and damage width was calculated. The editor uses a weighted average for the average crush dimension. In the NHTSA frontal crash tests, the test vehicle is propelled into a rigid wall-like structure and moves very little, if any, after impact. Energy absorbed by crushing the vehicle structure essentially equals the kinetic energy the vehicle had at impact. However, in rear crash tests, calculation of the energy absorbed by the crush of the vehicle is more complex, since both the barrier and test vehicle are moving after impact. If the damage can be equated to what would have been caused by the vehicle rolling backwards into a fixed barrier, normal methods can be used to determine vehicle stiffness parameters. By assuming no significant energy absorption by the barrier, the dissipation of energy equation can be used to find the equivalent impact-into-fixed barrier speed of the test vehicle. Crash data from the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix is used to illustrate this calculation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 23-25
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046571
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2007 12:05PM