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Rollover Crash Tests on Dirt: An Examination of Rollover Dynamics

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published April 14, 2008 by SAE International in United States
Rollover Crash Tests on Dirt: An Examination of Rollover Dynamics
Citation: Luepke, P., Carter, J., Henry, K., Germane, G. et al., "Rollover Crash Tests on Dirt: An Examination of Rollover Dynamics," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 1(1):18-30, 2009,
Language: English


Most rollover literature is statistical in nature, focuses on reconstructed field data and experiences, or utilizes a very broad pool of dissimilar test data. When test data is presented, nearly all of it involves hard surface rollover tests performed at speeds near 30 mph, with a mix of passenger cars, sport utility vehicles and minivans.
Five full-scale dolly rollover tests on dirt of production sport utility vehicles (SUV) and multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) were performed with similar input parameters. The similarities included Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 rollover dolly initiated events, level dirt rollover surfaces, and initiation speeds over 40 mph. All tests were recorded with multiple high-speed and real-time cameras. Additionally, some of the tests included detailed documentation of the rollover surface and the resulting evidence and debris patterns, as well as onboard angular rate sensing instrumentation. Typical dynamic parameters such as roll distance, number of rolls, average deceleration rates, and angular roll rates are compared and discussed. Parameters rarely commented upon before are analyzed and discussed, such as the time duration and nature of individual ground contacts and airborne segments, the vehicle orientation changes experienced during those segments, and the dynamic effects of various ground contact orientations.