This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
STEERING COLUMN MOVEMENT IN SEVERE FRONTAL CRASHES AND ITS POTENTIAL EFFECT ON AIRBAG PERFORMANCE
Published June 04, 2001 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
Annotation ability available
Excessive movement of steering columns in crashes can significantly degrade the performance of restraints, especially airbags. Although steering column movement does not appear to be a major problem in full-width rigid barrier crashes, it can be an issue in other frontal crash types. Results from 106 frontal offset crash tests at 64 km/h (40 mi/h) were used to characterize different patterns of steering column intrusion for different vehicle types. Large movements of the steering column often were associated with the dummy’s head striking the steering wheel through the airbag. Some of the tested models were redesigned over the course of this testing, and comparisons with older designs showed that improving the structural integrity of the occupant compartment could lead to less longitudinal movement of the steering column, but this was not necessarily the case for vertical column movements for some models in the data set. Multipurpose passenger vehicles—pickups, utility vehicles and passenger vans—tended to have more vertical steering column movement than cars. Examples of fatal frontal crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System/Crashworthiness Data System and serious frontal crashes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Seven-County Crash Investigation Study were examined to better understand the real-world consequences of steering column movement. Both crash samples included cases in which serious and fatal injuries were attributed to driver contact with the steering wheel despite the presence of a deployed airbag. Some examples of these injuries occurred in crashes without catastrophic collapse of the occupant compartment, and some of the drivers were belted. As crash test results suggest, movement of the steering column in frontal crashes can degrade real-world airbag effectiveness, and this phenomenon deserves more attention than it has received in the past.
CitationZuby, D. and O’Neill, B., "STEERING COLUMN MOVEMENT IN SEVERE FRONTAL CRASHES AND ITS POTENTIAL EFFECT ON AIRBAG PERFORMANCE," SAE Technical Paper 2001-06-0230, 2001.
- Arbelaez, R.A. O’Neill, B. 2001 Difficulties in determining the cause of real-world crash injuries: a case study of a NASS investigation Proceedings of the 17th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (CD ROM) Washington, DC National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Augenstein, J.S. et al 1995 Chest and abdominal injuries suffered by restrained occupants (SAE 950657 37 44 Warrendale, PA Society of Automotive Engineers
- Fileta, B. Liu, X. 1997 Intrusion factors and their effects on steering column movements during vehicle’s frontal impact testing SAE Technical Paper Series 970573 Warrendale, PA Society of Automotive Engineers
- Gloyns, P.F. Hayes, H.R.M. Rattenbury, S.J. 1980 Protection of the car driver from steering system induced injuries Towards Safer Passenger Cars 23 29 London, England Institute of Mechanical Engineering
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 1992 Status Report Special Issue: Crash Investigations in Detail 27 Arlington, VA
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2000
- Kahane, C.J. 1982 Evaluation of current energy-absorbing steering assemblies (SAE 820473 45 49 Warrendale, PA Society of Automotive Engineers
- Miller, S 2001 ‘Drive-by-wire’ technology promises simpler and safer car control: BMW, DaimlerChrysler develop electronic steering systems; the joystick vs. the wheel The Wall Street Journal January 12 B1
- Nolan, J.M. Preuss, C.A. Jones, S.L. O’Neill, B 1998 An update on the relationships between computed delta Vs and impact speeds for offset crash tests Proceedings of the 16th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles 2 1234 41 Washington, DC National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Zuby, D.S. Cammisa, M.X. Ferguson, S.A. 2001 Analysis of driver fatalities in frontal crashes of airbag-equipped vehicles in 1990–98 NASS/CDS SAE Technical Paper Series 2001-01-0156