Injury prevention in vehicle side collisions
Sammanfattning: In America around 30% of all fatal car collisions are a result of side collisions. Furthermore, in Europe between 28% to 38% of all side collisions results in serious injury or death. There are existing protection systems to minimize the risk of injury. Most commonly a combination airbag system or a curtain system is used to protect the occupants in the event of a side collision. A combination bag deploys forwards from the back-rest to protect the occupants thorax and pelvis. For head protection this system implements an extension from the seat mounted bag which deploys upwards towards the head area. The drawback of this system is that the area covered by the airbag is limited. Curtain solutions commonly work in tandem with a seat mounted thorax airbag, which protects the occupants upper body, like the combo solution. The curtain solution protects the head by deploying an inflatable curtain alongside the inner wall of the vehicle. Unlike the combo solution a curtain has the ability to cover a greater area. However, the downside is that it deploys further from the occupants body, which allows the body to move more freely. In this report the combination and curtain systems were compared. A general comparison was conducted using data from Euro NCAP, which showed that the combination system offers slightly better protection for the head in a collisions directed 90 degrees from the side, while the curtain solution offers greater protection for the thorax region if the collision is at an angle. Whiplash is the most common traffic related injury in Sweden. However, it is not usually a fatal one. Commonly whiplash injuries occur in rear ends collisions when the head jerks back. The jerking motion that occurs in a side collision can also result in acute whiplash associated disorders (WAD). Analyzing the WAD effect of the inflatable curtain airbag systems compared to the combination airbag system in side injuries is a complex task. A comparison was made using accelerometer data acquired from NHTSA's. database and a modified implementation of the NIC-criterion. The results indicated that there is a risk for whiplash injuries present in side collisions and that different cars have different prerequisites for preventing injury. A definite answer which of the airbag systems offer better protection from WAD could not be found using the provided data.
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