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Kinematics of pediatric crash dummies seated on vehicle seats with realistic belt geometry

In: Traffic injury prevention. Volume 15, issue 8 (2014), pages 866-874. 

Authors: Kathleen D. Klinich, Matthew P. Reed, Sheila M. Ebert, Jonathan D. Rupp

A series of sled tests was performed using vehicle seats and Hybrid-III 6-year-old (6YO) and 10YO anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) to explore possibilities for improving occupant protection for children who are not using belt-positioning booster seats. Methods: Cushion length was varied from production length of 450 mm to a shorter length of 350 mm. Lap belt geometry was set to rear, mid, and forward anchorage locations that span the range of lap belt angles found in vehicles. Six tests each were performed with the 6YO and 10YO Hybrid III ATDs. One additional test was performed using a booster seat with the 6YO. The ATDs were positioned using an updated version of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) seating procedure that positions the ATD hips further forward with longer seat cushions to reflect the effect of cushion length on posture that has been measured with child volunteers. ATD kinematics were evaluated using peak head excursion, peak knee excursion, the difference between peak head and peak knee excursion, and the maximum torso angle. Results: Shortening the seat cushion improved kinematic outcomes, particularly for the 10YO. Lap belt geometry had a greater effect on kinematics with the longer cushion length, with mid or forward belt geometries producing better kinematics than the rearward belt geometry. The worst kinematics for both ATDs occurred with the long cushion length and rearward lap belt geometry. The improvements in kinematics from shorter cushion length or more forward belt geometry are smaller than those provided by a booster seat.

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