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Experimental investigation of the effect of occupant characteristics on contemporary seat belt payout behavior in frontal impacts



Experimental investigation of the effect of occupant characteristics on contemporary seat belt payout behavior in frontal impacts



Traffic Injury Prevention 17(4): 374-380



The goal of this study was to investigate the influence of the occupant characteristics on seat belt force vs. payout behavior based on experiment data from different configurations in frontal impacts. The data set reviewed consists of 58 frontal sled tests using several anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and postmortem human subjects (PMHS), restrained by different belt systems (standard belt, SB; force-limiting belt, FLB) at 2 impact severities (48 and 29 km/h). The seat belt behavior was characterized in terms of the shoulder belt force vs. belt payout behavior. A univariate linear regression was used to assess the factor significance of the occupant body mass or stature on the peak tension force and gross belt payout. With the SB, the seat belt behavior obtained by the ATDs exhibited similar force slopes regardless of the occupant size and impact severities, whereas those obtained by the PMHS were varied. Under the 48 km/h impact, the peak tension force and gross belt payout obtained by ATDs was highly correlated to the occupant stature (P =.03, P =.02) and body mass (P =.05, P =.04), though no statistical difference with the stature or body mass were noticed for the PMHS (peak force: P =.09, P =.42; gross payout: P =.40, P =.48). With the FLB under the 48 km/h impact, highly linear relationships were noticed between the occupant body mass and the peak tension force (R(2) = 0.9782) and between the gross payout and stature (R(2) = 0.9232) regardless of the occupant types. The analysis indicated that the PMHS characteristics showed a significant influence on the belt response, whereas the belt response obtained with the ATDs was more reproducible. The potential cause included the occupant anthropometry, body mass distribution, and relative motion among body segments specific to the population variance. This study provided a primary data source to understand the biomechanical interaction of the occupant with the restraint system. Further research is necessary to consider these effects in the computational studies and optimized design of the restraint system in a more realistic manner.

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Accession: 057835519

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26376046

DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2015.1088944



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