Protection of Rear Seat Occupants in Frontal Crashes

Regulations and vehicle design optimization have traditionally focused on the occupants of front seats. Stringent requirements exist for the driver and front right passenger but there are no dynamic crash test requirements for rear seat occupants. The introduction of frontal airbags and the concurrent increased incidence of child fatalities in low speed frontal collisions brought urgency to the public health message advising parents to place children 12 years and under in the rear seat. Anthropometric test dummies representative of a 5th percentile adult female or 12-year-old child were used together with the recently introduced Hybrid III 10-year-old dummy and the Hybrid III 6-year-old dummies to evaluate rear seat occupant protection in full frontal rigid barrier tests and frontal offset deformable barrier tests. The 6-year-old dummy was restrained with a belt-positioning booster while the 10-year-old was restrained with either a belt positioning booster or the vehicle 3-point seatbelt. Dummy responses were examined as a function of seat position and in the case of child dummies, booster seat type. Successful restraint of the chest was associated with high belt loads and pronounced chest deflections while slippage of the belt from the shoulder led to extreme flexion of the torso, head strikes and elevated neck loads. Booster seats had no effect on shoulder belt translation during the dynamic event but were observed to maintain the abdominal portion of the belt in place, over the pelvis. Opportunities for rear seat occupant protection and child dummy enhancements are discussed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8p
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings - 19th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Washington, D.C., June 6-9, 2005

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01066524
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 05-0258
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 4 2007 10:31AM