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Biomed Sci Instrum. 2009;45:89-94.

Biomechanical analysis of protective countermeasures in underride motor vehicle accidents - biomed 2009.

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Safety Research Institute, Atlanta, GA.


Traffic safety has been significantly improved over the past several decades reducing injury and fatality rates. However, there is a paucity of research effort to address the safety issues in underride accidents, specifically the side underride crashes. It is well known that the compromise of occupant space in the vehicle leads to a higher probability of serious or fatal injuries. A better understanding of occupant protection and mechanism of injuries involved in side underride accidents assists in the advancement of safety measures. The present work evaluates the injury potential to occupants during side underride crashes using the car-to-trailer crash methodology. Four crash tests were conducted into the side of a stationary trailer fitted with the side underride guard system (SURG). The SURG used in these tests is 25% lighter than the previous design. A 5th percentile hybrid III female dummy was placed in the driver seat and restrained with the three-point lap and shoulder harness. The anthropometric dummy was instrumented with a head triaxial accelerometer, a chest triaxal accelerometer, a load cell to measure neck force and moment, and a load cell to measure the femur force. The vehicle acceleration was measured using a traxial accelerometer in the rear center tunnel. High speed, standard video and still photos were taken. In all tests, the intrusion was limited to the front structure of the vehicle without any significant compromise to the occupant space. Results indicate that the resultant head and chest accelerations, head injury criterion (HIC), neck force and moment, and femur force were well below the injury tolerance. The present findings support the hypothesis that the SURG not only limits or eliminates the intrusion into the occupant space but also results in biomechanical injury values well below the tolerance limit in motor vehicle crashes.


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