Paper i proceeding, 2011

ABSTRACT This study presents a broad comprehensive research effort that combines expertise from industry and academia and uses various methodologies with applied research directed towards countermeasures. The project includes real world crash data analysis, real world driving studies and crash testing and simulations, aiming at enhancing the safety of forward facing child occupants (aged 3y to small adults) in the rear seat during frontal to side impacts. The real world crash data analyses of properly restrained children originate from European as well as US data. Frontal and side impact crash tests are analyzed using different sizes of crash test dummies in different sitting postures. Side impact parameter studies using FE-models are run. The sitting posture and behavior of 12 children are monitored while riding in the rear seat. Also, the body kinematics and belt position during actual braking and turning maneuvers are studied for 16 rear seat child occupants and for various child dummies. Real world crash data indicates that several of the injured children in frontal impacts, despite being properly restrained, impacted the vehicle interior structure with their head/face resulting in serious injury. This was attributed to oblique crashes, pre-crash vehicle maneuvers or high crash severity. Crash tests confirm the importance of proper initial belt-fit for best protection. The crash tests also highlight the difficulty in obtaining the real world kinematics and head impact locations using existing crashtest dummies and test procedures. The side impact parameter studies indicate that the vehicle’s occupant protection systems, such as airbags and seat belt pretensioners, play an important role in protecting children as well. The results from the on-road driving studies illustrate the variation of sitting postures during riding in the rear seat giving valuable input to the effects of the restraint systems and to how representative the standardized dummy seating positioning procedures are. The results from the maneuver driving studies illustrate the importance of understanding the kinematics of a child relative to the seat belt in a real world maneuver situation. Real world safety of rear seat occupants, especially children, involves evaluation of protection beyond standard crash testing scenarios in frontal and side impact conditions. This project explores the complete context of rear seat protection in impact situations ranging from front to side and directions in between highlighting the importance of pre-crash posture and behavior. This research project at SAFER (Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers), where researchers from the industry and universities cooperate with the aim to further improve safety for children (from 3y) to small adults in the rear seat, speeds up the process to safety implementation due to the interaction between academic and industrial researchers.

Crash Safety

Rear Seat

Child Safety


Lotta Jakobsson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

Katarina Bohman

Marianne Andersson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

Isabelle Stockman

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

Mats Svensson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

Henrik Svanberg

Maria Wimmerstedt

Kristy Arbogast

The 22nd ESV Conference Proceedings


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