Prediction of accident severity and driver fatality ratios in side impact accidents for different target and bullet cars based on the FMVSS 214 and US-NCAP test conditions
Koneru, Lakshmi Venkata Sai Praneeth Chowdary
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There have been many studies on side impact accidents, crashworthiness of car structures and occupant protection and safety. These studies have focused on either development of better car interiors, belts, airbag safety and seating system for passengers or on more energy absorbing car structures and stronger materials to withstand the accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed metric method to quality and study the aggressive behavior of Light trucks and Vans (LTV's). One of the methods include driver fatality ratio (DFR) and Accident Safety (AS) by considering statistical data which was obtained from the accidents. The present research work proposes a computational method utilizing nonlinear finite element (FE) modeling of side impact crashes based on Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214 and the United States New Car Assessment Program (USNCAP) conditions of several bullet and target vehicles. A computational finite element crash simulation methodology is initialized in this study include twelve cases, in which there are three target cars struck from side by four different bullet cars. The target cars include the Dodge Neon, Geo Metro and Toyota Yaris; and the bullet cars include the Dodge Caravan, Ford Econoline, Ford Explorer and Chevy S-10. The intrusions of the bullet and target cars are captured at specific locations. A scheme is then utilized to estimate the DFR based on the ratio of the bullet and target car intrusions, as well as the ratio of the accelerations at the driver seats corresponding to the two cars. The estimated DFR has been compared to the statistical DFR based on the accident data, and shown to provide reasonable correlation. The target vehicles in this study have been changed from the older models to a new model in order to observe any influence on the predicted DFR. The methodology presented here can be used in the design stage of new cars in order to improve the occupant protection and survivability of the passengers in the designed vehicles.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering