ACCURACY OF THE MOMENTUM ENERGY RESTITUTION METHOD FOR OFFSET INLINE REAR-END IMPACTS

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1425

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
In minor inline rear-end accidents, vehicle damage is the primary tangible indicator of impact severity or vehicle change in velocity (V). Correspondingly, a technique for calculating change in velocity based on vehicle damage involves application of the Momentum Energy Restitution (MER) method. Offset inline rear-end testing, wherein minimal vehicle bumper or contact surface engagement occurs, has not been readily published to date. Thus, instrumented offset inline rear-end impacts were performed utilizing a 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup, 1996 Kia Sephia, and 1995 Chrysler LeBaron GTC. Vehicle engagement involved approximately 30.5 cm (12 in.) and 40.6 cm (16 in.) of lateral overlap with impact speeds ranging between 1.3 m/s (3 mph) to 4 m/s (9 mph). Test results indicated that a 30.5 cm (12 in.) or less lateral overlap between vehicle impacting surfaces promoted sideswipe impacts or an incomplete transfer of momentum relative to the bullet vehicle’s impact speed. A lateral overlap of greater than 30.5 cm (12 in.) between the vehicle impacting surfaces allowed for complete collisions and transfer of momentum relative to the bullet vehicle’s impact speed. The profile and composition of each vehicle’s impact surface also contributed to whether a collision was complete or incomplete. With individual vehicle damage documented before and after each test, application of a modified MER method was performed based on the measured damage to theoretically calculate each vehicle’s V. The calculated results utilizing the MER method were then compared to the test vehicle Vs determined from integration of the test acceleration traces. Comparison of the calculated vs. actual data indicated a high accuracy of prediction (i.e., % error) for vehicle V via a modified MER method when vehicle overlaps were greater than 30.5 cm (12 in.) and an overestimate (i.e., % error) when vehicle overlaps were less than 30.5 cm (12 in.).
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