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The Response of Car Structures to Frontal Impact and Their Influence on Occupant Protection
Published September 01, 1993 by ISATA - Dusseldorf Trade Fair in United Kingdom
Event: ISATA 1993
For seat belt users involved in frontal impact accidents, maintaining the structural integrity of the passenger compartment is a prime requirement for providing protection. Accident investigations show that most fatal and serious injuries occur because the seat belt ride down space has been reduced by passenger compartment intrusion. Most modern cars survive the full width rigid barrier test required by legislation, with little or no intrusion. However, in accidents, many of these same cars suffer from dangerous levels of intrusion, even at lower impact speeds. Various asymmetric frontal impact test configurations have been proposed and some are in current use. Most of these tests still retain a rigid barrier as the impact surface. Research shows that impacts with rigid barriers load the vehicle structure in unrealistic ways, compared with car-to-car impacts, help the car to pass the test and have the potential to guide car design in the wrong direction. The introduction of a deformable face into a partial overlap impact overcomes these problems. Tests with this configuration should lead car design towards vehicles which work in the impact test in the same way that they will have to work in accident impacts.