The Field Relevance of NHTSA's Oblique Research Moving Deformable Barrier Tests

Paper #:
  • 2014-22-0007

Published:
  • 2014-11-10
Pages:
21
Abstract:
A small overlap frontal crash test has been recently introduced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its frontal rating scheme. Another small overlap frontal crash test is under development by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Whereas the IIHS test is conducted against a fixed rigid barrier, the NHTSA test is conducted with a moving deformable barrier that overlaps 35% of the vehicle being tested and the angle between the longitudinal axis of the barrier and the longitudinal axis of the test vehicle is 15 degrees. The field relevance of the IIHS test has been the subject of a paper by Prasad et al. (2014). The current study is aimed at examining the field relevance of the NHTSA test. The field relevance is indicated by the frequency of occurrence of real world crashes that are simulated by the test conditions, the proportion of serious-to-fatal real world injuries explained by the test condition, and rates of serious injury to the head, chest and other body regions in the real world crashes resembling the test condition. The database examined for real world crashes is NASS. Results of the study indicate that 1.4% of all frontal 11-to-1 o'clock crashes are simulated by the test conditions that account for 2.4% to 4.5% of all frontal serious-to-fatal (MAIS3+F) injuries. Injury rates of the head and the chest are substantially lower in far-side than in near-side frontal impacts. Crash test ATD rotational responses of the head in the tests over-predict the real world risk of serious-to-fatal brain injuries.
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