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Trends in the Design of Car Front and Side Structures to Meet Future Safety Needs
Published January 01, 1984 by Institution of Mechanical Engineers in United Kingdom
This paper begins with a review of the current situation about how car occupants and pedestrians are injured in road accidents involving cars. The compulsory use of seat belts has transformed the situation and the paper deals with the structural aspects of what should be done next in car design. The car front structure must withstand impacts of the various different types that occur, namely, into other cars, into fixed objects such as large trees and into Heavy Goods Vehicles. Protection is also needed for car occupants when their cars are struck in the side and this requires some degree of compatibility between car fronts and sides when one strikes the other. Car sides must be strengthened and car fronts slightly weakened for this type of impact. Fortunately this requirement is not greatly different from that for a degree of protection for pedestrians struck by cars. The discussion suggests how all the various safety needs may be achieved in one design of front structure.