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Occupant kinematics in motor vehicle crashes


In: Crash Protection. Warrendale, Pa., SAE, June 1982, p. 107-155; DOI: 10.4271/820247

Authors: Stanley H. Backaitis, D. H. Robbins, L. A. DeLarm

This paper addresses the kinematics of occupants of light motor vehicles that are involved in frontal collisions. Injury to occupants of these vehicles constitute a majority of the harm incurred in all of the traffic accidents. Host injury is caused by the relatively high velocity collisions of occupants into vehicle interior components. A two dimensional (2-D) MVMA dynamic occupant simulation was used to facilitate the understanding of occupant kinematics in frontal collisions in general and to determine the spectra of occupant impact velocities into vehicle components for a range of crash speeds in particular.

Real world accident data and laboratory crash tests were used to provide inputs and boundaries for the MVMA 2-D model. The accident data provided guidelines as to which occupant-to-vehicle impact modes produce the most harm and therefore should be addressed. Parameters investigated for their effect on occupant kinematics include vehicle crash intensity, crash pulse shape and duration, pre-crash braking, occupant size, seat friction, vehicle interior space characteristics, occupant seating distance from vehicle contact points and types of occupant restraints.