Side Impact Occupant Safety and CAE

Side impact crashes account for approximately twenty-six percent of all motor vehicle fatal crashes, second only to frontal crashes, according to a report by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA). While car companies and suppliers continue to develop new technologies that make vehicles safer, NHTSA rolled out updated safety regulations (FMVSS 214) based on new research studies, making vehicle safety design more and more complex.

This seminar is designed to familiarize participants with the engineering principles behind vehicle and restraint designs for occupant safety. Students will learn the mechanics of side crashes and how vehicle structures, restraint systems, and interiors affect occupant safety. Students will also be exposed to system, subsystem and component level CAE and testing tools used in the simulation of side impacts. Accident crash statistics, biomechanics, government regulations and public domain frontal safety tests will also be covered. A combination of hands-on activities, including computer simulations, discussion, and lecture are used throughout the course. A camera that takes slow-motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second is employed to capture the miniature Side Impact Crash Demo Test kit on day one, which enables the registrants to thoroughly analyze the crash impact.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate and the $5 student CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Explain side impact and how the vehicle structure, door trim and side airbags affect occupant responses
  • Describe different dummy types and what injury metrics are used to evaluate occupant injuries
  • Interpret FMVSS 214 regulations and public domain safety evaluations such as LINCAP and IIHS safety rating systems
  • Describe system, sub-system and component level CAE and testing tools that are used to assist in design decisions
  • Evaluate the relative effect of door intrusion and restraint system characteristics
  • Select correct data filtering to process crash test data

Is This Course For You

This course is designed for engineers who are new to the field of occupant protection in side impacts as well as those individuals who require knowledge regarding IIHS side impact ratings and the FMVSS 214 regulation. This course will also be of interest to engineers who deal with side impact issues or are involved in designs of side impact related components, such as airbags, door trim, side impact bolsters, door structures and body structures.

Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

This data is not available at this time


  • Vehicle Crash Safety Introduction
    • Crash injury and fatality data from the U.S.
    • Distribution of different crash types
    • Active safety and passive safety
    • Trend of crash safety ratings
  • Vehicle Side Impact Test Modes
    • Moving deformable barrier impact
    • Pole impact
  • Biomechanics
  • Test Dummies and Injury Metrics
    • SID/HIII
    • SID IIs & SID IIs-FRG
    • ES-2 & ES-2re
    • BioSID & WorldSID
  • U.S. Regulatory Requirements
    • FMVSS 214, 201, 301
  • U.S. Public Domain Tests and Performance Ratings
    • LINCAP
    • IIHS
  • European Regulatory Requirements
  • Euro-NCAP and Performance Ratings in Other Markets
  • Test Data Processing
    • Filtering and SAE J211 guidelines
    • HIC, TTI
    • Numerical integration, differentiation, occupant relative travel
    • Hands-on in computer lab: test data processing
  • Hands-on Computer Exercises
    • Simulations Using Simplified Models
    • Crash Data Processing
  • Side Impact Mechanics
    • Vehicle structure
    • Door trim
    • Thoracic and pelvic bolsters
    • Inflatable devices for impact protection
  • Restraint System for Side Impact
    • Thorax bag
    • Shoulder bag
    • Thorax-head combo bag
    • Thorax-pelvis combo bag
    • Seat mounted and door mounted side airbags
    • Inflatable curtain
    • Inflatable shoulder belt / lap belt
  • Crash Sensors
    • G-based sensors
    • Pressure sensors
  • Vehicle Crash Computer Modeling (CAE)
    • Vehicle CAE model
    • Occupant CAE model
    • Crash Barrier CAE models
  • Component and Sub-system Crash Development Tools
    • Sled tests
    • Sub-system level FEA
    • Madymo for airbag development
  • Vehicle Level Crash Development and Test Data Analysis
    • Barrier test
    • Crash vehicle re-build
    • Surrogate vehicle test
    • Full vehicle FEA analysis
    • Test data analysis
  • Design Optimization and Robustness
    • DOE used in component test, HYGE sled and CAE
    • Optimization in CAE
    • Robust design using CAE
  • Hands-on Project Using Miniature Test Kit
    • The effect of vehicle stiffness
    • The effect of door trim design, restraint system
  • Summary