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A Frontal Impact Taxonomy for USA Field Data

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published April 14, 2008 by SAE International in United States
A Frontal Impact Taxonomy for USA Field Data
Citation: Sullivan, K., Henry, S., and Laituri, T., "A Frontal Impact Taxonomy for USA Field Data," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 1(1):406-429, 2009,
Language: English


An eight-group taxonomy was created to classify real-world frontal crashes from the Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) component of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). Three steps were taken to develop the taxonomy: (1) frontal-impact towaway crashes were identified by examining 1985-2005 model year light passenger vehicles with Collision Deformation Classification (CDC) data from the 1995-2005 calendar years of NASS; (2) case reviews, engineering judgments, and categorization assessments were conducted on these data to produce the eight-group taxonomy; and (3) two subsets of the NASS dataset were analyzed to assess the consistency of the resulting taxonomic-group frequencies. “Full-engagement” and “Offset” crashes were the most frequent crash types, each contributing approximately 33% to the total. The group identified as “D, Y, Z No-Rail” was the most over-represented crash type for vehicles with at least one seriously-injured occupant. However, that group represented only 2.6% of the crash-involved vehicles. The taxonomy provides a consistent way to categorize frontal impacts beyond that afforded by the CDC itself. Moreover, the taxonomy provides the basis for potential future studies (e.g., more comprehensive risk assessments and related countermeasure designs).