Car Driver Protection at Frontal Impacts up to 80 km/h (50 mph)

The structures of modern passenger vehicles are designed to maintain integrity up to an impact velocity of about 64 km/h (40 mph). The occupant protection system is likewise designed to efficiently protect the occupant up to an impact velocity of 64 km/h. However, there are highways with a 90 km/h (56 mph) speed limit without separation of the lanes and many car occupants still die in severe frontal crashes. To investigate the level of occupant protection at very high impact velocity a full frontal full vehicle rigid wall crash test with a mid size passenger vehicle was carried out. The impact velocity was 80 km/h (50 mph). A 50 percentile Hybrid III crash test dummy was positioned on the driver side. The dummy results show that the possibility of survival of an occupant in that particular vehicle in such a crash was minimal. With the goal to develop a protection system that in an 80 km/h (50 mph) crash test would result in dummy reading below the FMVSS 208 injury criteria levels, a mathematical sled model was developed and a mechanical sled mock-up was set up. The mathematical model was validated by means of results from the mechanical sled tests. To identify the parameters of the occupant restraint system with the greatest influence on the efficiency of the restraint system, factorial analysis was used in which a number of parameters were varied at two levels. The parameters were preloading of seat belt, load limiting of seat belts, gasgenerator output, steering column yield distance and airbag volume. Using the results from the factorial analysis a mathematical sled simulation and a mechanical sled test were carried out with a restraint system that was designed to give reasonable protection to an occupant at an 80 km/h (50 mph) impact. The restraint system consisted of a large volume airbag, a significantly longer ride down distance than what is available in the vehicles today, diagonal and lap belt pretensioning and load limiting. Efficient occupant driver protection in an 80 km/h (50 mph) full front rigid wall crash seems to be possible. However, the interior ride down distance needs to be greater than what is available in the vehicles on the market today.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; Photos; 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: 01066443
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 05-0102
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2007 4:25PM