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Assessment of Dynamic Testing Environment of Child Restraint Systems

Transportation Research Center, Inc.-J. Gavin Howe, Fletcher K. Chambers
US DOT/NHTSA-Lisa K. Sullivan, George Mouchahoir, Lee Stucki
Published 1993-11-07 by SAE International in United States
This paper summarizes the results of research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine how changing vehicle design parameters influence child restraint performance. Initial research consisted of surveying late-model vehicles' interior design characteristics as they pertain to child restraint systems. The next step involved dynamic evaluation of booster seats with respect to injury/excursion criteria measured on child test dummies under conditions which illustrated the changing vehicle design characteristics. Belt-positioning booster seat tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of belt type (lap/shoulder belt vs lap only belt) on seat performance. Differences in small-shield booster behavior when used with lap only belt or laplshoulder belt combinations were established in another series of tests. Another study demonstrated how varying seat back rigidity changed small-shield booster test results.
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Potential improvements to the Canadian Child Restraint Regulations

RONA Kinetics and Associates Ltd.-Jocelyn B. Pedder
Transport Canada-William T.(Bill) Gardner, France Legault
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
In Canada child restraint systems are currently evaluated under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. The present paper reviews the relevance of the criteria and test procedures used to evaluate child restraint systems under these regulations. Special attention is given to the reported high incidence of misuse in Canada including data from a recently completed road-side survey conducted in Ontario by Transport Canada. Legislative and experimental attempts to reduce the opportunity for misuse of child restraint systems in Canada are considered in light of the results of this study. Consideration is also given to areas for improving child restraints by more realistic testing and performance requirements. This includes the results of a preliminary test program to develop a standardized test procedure for the evaluation of the head contact surface of child restraint systems.
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Child Restraint and Airbag Interaction: Problem and Progress

The University of Michigan-Kathleen Weber
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
The nature of the potentially hazardous interaction between a passenger-side airbag and a rear-facing child restraint is described, as well as the expectations regarding airbag interaction with other types of child restraint systems. Progress made in developing tools to study the problem and test criteria to evaluate possible solutions are summarized, efforts to inform the public are noted, and promising directions for dealing with the problem are addressed. Primary emphasis is placed on the work of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Child Restraint and Airbag Interaction (CRABI) Task Force and that of its members.
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Booster Cushions: From Experimentation to Usage in France

LAB APR-Y. Pincemaille, P. Caillibot, F. Brun-Cassan, H. Vallee, J. Y. Le Coz
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
The use of booster cushions by children more than 3 years old is a relatively new behaviour in FRANCE. In fact, the restraint of children in systems adapted to their age and anthropometry, has only been mandatory since January 1st, 1992.The french car manufacturers have tested, during the last years, a great number of boosters in a car environment. In particular a comparative study between “simple” cushions and boosters with a back-rest -in order to satisfy parents requiring better comfort for their children- has been undertaken. On the basis of these tests, the manufacturers have made a selection for their cars, according to a certain number of criteria which will be described.It it well known that the main advantage of boosters is to be very easy of use. A complementary accidentological analysis made recently in FRANCE reveals however some problems of injuries linked to misuse of these restraint systems. Studies are in progress in order to assess consequences of these misuses. Proposals will be made with the aim of avoiding such problems.
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The Seat Belt Syndrome in Children

Monash Univ.-J. C. Lane
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
Lap belts, fitted to the centre seats of Australian cars for the past twenty-two years, have come under criticism as being injurious to children. The weight of evidence is that lap belts provide substantial protection, though less than three-point belts. A specific injury, the seat belt syndrome (SBS), to abdominal viscera and/or lumbar spine has been particularly associated with lap belts, an association confirmed by a hospital-based study in Melbourne. Roadside observations of belt use and Transport Accident Commission claims permitted the calculation of the incidence of SBS and the relative risks of SBS by seated position. The centre rear seat (lap belt) carried about twice the risk of SBS as outboard rear seats (three-point belts) which in turn have 2.7 times the risk of the outboard front seat. The number of SBS cases in Victoria has increased with penetration of the car fleet by 1971 and later cars. Suggestions are made for improvements in the restraint system.
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Cervical Spine Loads Induced in Restrained Child Dummies II

TNO Crash-Safety Research Centre-E. G. Janssen, C. G. Huijskens, R. Verschut, D. Twisk
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
Accident data seem to indicate that small children seated in forward facing restraint systems with a harness belt are at risk from serious neck injuries in moderate frontal impacts. TNO has undertaken a research programme to measure the neck loads induced in TNO-P3/4 child dummies seated in various types of restraint system. The test set-up and results of a series of dynamic sled tests and a series of mathematical simulations have been presented in SAE paper no. 912919.This research programme was continued by conducting a reconstruction of a real accident with severe neck injuries. Sled tests were performed using similar car seats and a similar child restraint system as in the real accident. The dummy was modified to obtain an anthropometry close to that of the child involved in the accident. Several test parameters were varied and their influence on the measured neck loads analysed. In parallel with the experimental work, a series of mathematical simulations were performed, using the MADYMO CVS program. These analyses were aimed at assessing the best case and the worst…
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Spinal Cord Injuries to Children in Real World Accidents

Ohio State Univ.-Richard L. Stalnaker
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
In the last twelve years, the overwhelming effectiveness of restraining children in the United States, Canada and Europe has been proven in reducing death and injury in automobile accidents. Despite the proven benefits of restraining children, one type of injury has not been prevented. This paper is an analysis of stretch injuries to the spinal cord in the upper thoracic or cervical spine.This paper discusses, in general, spinal cord injuries from a biomechanical point of view. The relationship between various loading conditions and the resulting types of spinal cord injuries is discussed. This paper also examines seven real world automobile accidents. Information for each case includes: vehicles involved, type of roadway, crash Delta-V, occupant direction of motion, restraint type, injuries to occupants, and anthropometry of child with spinal cord injury. A description and location of each spinal cord injury that occurred at the time of the accident is discussed. A discussion of a possible injury mechanism for spinal cord stretch injuries to children is also given.The results of this research indicate that infants should ride…
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Comparative Study of Restrained Child Dummies and Cadavers in Experimental Crashes

Heidelberg Univ.-D. Kallieris
LAB APR-F. Brun Cassan, M. Page, Y. Pincemaille
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
In order to reduce the number and severity of injuries to child occupants in car accidents, a great number of child restraint systems have been developed over the past years. Such systems must be adapted to the anthropometric characteristics of children and provide good protection; to achieve this, a knowledge of child tolerance to impact is required, but at present very little biomechanical data relating to children is available, especially for children in the first years of life. As the design, evaluation and certification of child restraint systems is performed with dummies and several dummy types are available- a relationship between dummy and expected child reactions must be identified.This paper, based on the work performed within the framework of the International Task Force on Child Restraint Systems*, proposes a comparison between child dummies and cadavers involved in identical experimental collisions, and restrained with child restraint systems. This comparison involves both kinematic and physical measurements when available, taking into account injuries observed on cadavers. It is known that the safety performance of child restraint systems is…
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ECE Regulation 44 - An Update on the Current Revision

Department of Transport, London-John A. Jeyes
Swedish Road and Transport Research institute-Thomas Turbell
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
After 12 years since the introduction and approx. 500 approvals according to ECE Regulation 44 on Child Restraint Systems a major revision is now being done. The revision is scheduled to be completed in 1993. The main features of the update are: Better Definitions and instructionsAir Bag interactionMandatory strong crotch strapsHigher buckle opening forcesNew mass group and dummyMore realistic dynamic testingCompatibility checks on vehicle seating positionsSide impactsVarious other improvementsConformity of productionLonger term solutions dependant on ISOThe paper will present an update on some of the most interesting parts of this work.
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Using Seat Mounted Accelerometers to Differentiate Between Normally Seated Passengers and Infants in Infant Seats

GM R&D Center-Alan L. Browne, David A. Stephenson, Wolfgang Kiel
Published 1993-11-01 by SAE International in United States
A study was undertaken to determine whether a combination of seat and floorpan mounted accelerometers could be used to discriminate between normally seated occupants and infants/children in infant/child seats. This research study involved road testing over a limited range of infant and child seat, passenger, roadway, and operating conditions. An example is given of how information from such an accelerometer based detection scheme could be incorporated in SIR (Supplemental Inflatable Restraint) controller logic trees.
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