This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Thoracic response and trauma of out-of-position drivers resulting from air bag deployment
Published November 10, 1997 by Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine in United States
A case review of air bag-induced fatalities for drivers in low-speed crashes indicated that those at highest risk were small females in close proximity to the air bag at the time of deployment. To approximate these conditions in the laboratory environment, the Hybrid III 5th percentile dummy and seven small female cadavers were instrumented and tested as out-of-position drivers in static air bag deployment tests. Tank test pressure profiles were used to identify more aggressive and less aggressive air bags for use in the static deployments. For comparison, a prototype dual-stage system allowing staged air bag deployment with varied peak inflator pressures and onset rates was also tested. In the out-of-position tests, the chest was positioned against the air bag module in an effort to recreate a worst-case loading environment for the thorax. Rib fractures were the most common cadaver injury and correlated well with maximum chest compression. The Viscous Criteria correlated well with maximum chest compression. The Viscous Criteria exceeded 1.0 m/s in nearly all of the out-of-position tests but did not correlate well with the level of observed injury severity, which was largely determined by the number of rib fractures. The results suggest that the pressure onset rate of the inflator is more important than peak pressure in determining the severity of out-of-position injuries and should be given primary consideration in inflator depowering efforts. The prototype dual-stage design provided an effective method of varying pressure onset rates and peak pressures to study their combined effect on out-of-position driver response and injury.
- S. M. Kuppa - Conrad Technologies, Inc.
- N. Khaewpong - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- R. Eppinger - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- J. R. Crandall - University of Virginia
- S. M. Duma - University of Virginia
- C. R. Bass - University of Virginia
- W. D. Pilkey - University of Virginia