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Comparison of Thoracic Injury Risk in Frontal Car Crashes for Occupant Restrained without Belt Load Limiters and Those Restrained with 6 kN and 4 kN Belt Load Limiters

J-Y. Foret-Bruno, X. Trosseille, Y. Page, J-F Huère, J-Y. Le Coz, J-C Coltat
Safety Engineering Department, RENAULT-F. Bendjellal, A. Diboine
Published 2001-11-01 by The Stapp Association in United States
In France, as in other countries, accident research studies show that a large proportion of restrained occupants who sustain severe or fatal injuries are involved in frontal impacts (65% and 50%, respectively). In severe frontal impacts with restrained occupants and where intrusion is not preponderant, the oldest occupants very often sustain severe thoracic injuries due to the conventional seat belt. As we have been observing over the last years, we will expect in the coming years developments which include more solidly-built cars, as offset crash test procedures are widely used to evaluate the passive safety of production vehicles. The reduction of intrusion for the most severe frontal impacts, through optimization of car deformation, usually translates into an increase in restraint forces and hence thoracic injury risk with a conventional retractor seat belt for a given impact severity. It is, therefore essential to limit the restraint forces exerted by the seat belt on the thorax in order to reduce the number of road casualties.In order to address thoracic injury risk in frontal impact, Renault cars have…
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