; It's Curtains for Rollovers
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It's Curtains for Rollovers


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									  It’s Curtains for Rollovers

             Michael Paine
   Vehicle Design & Research Pty Ltd


 • Intrusive side impacts and
  rollover crashes account for
  one third of all light vehicle
  occupant fatalities

 • Head protecting side curtains
  and Electronic Stability
  Control (ESC) could
  dramatically reduce these
    Head Protection in Side Impacts

                          In!atable Tubular Structure

Head/thorax side airbag

                                Side Curtain

      Side impact by large vehicle
          Pole Impact (ANCAP)

         Head Protection Works!
   • Both types of crash test show that head-protecting
     side airbags can turn a likely fatality into an easily
     survivable crash

Serious head injury unlikely         Fatal head injury likely
         Real World
          Crashes -
        Side Impacts

• Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analysed
  side impact crashes of vehicles with and without head-
  protecting side airbags.

  45% fatality reduction
• Benefits can be expected to be greater in intrusive side
  impacts. Assume 50% saving for all intrusive side
  impact fatalities (conservative)

Curtains can protect
in rollover crashes
Curtains which deploy and stay in
place during a rollover crash can
protect occupants by:

• Cushioning head impacts
• Preventing partial head ejection

   These rally drivers are wearing full harnesses!
             Curtain stays inflated

        Real World Crashes
• 1995 Henderson/Paine study
  analysed Australian rollover
  crash fatalities

• In a quick review of those cases,
  it is estimated that 25 out of 41
  (61%) could have benefited from
  a side curtain (which were not
  available at the time of the

• Assume 50% saving for all
  rollover fatalities, once
  technology is developed
   Crash Reductions from Curtains
         Light Vehicle Occupant Fatalities

    Electronic Stability Control

• Basic ESC detects when
 the vehicle is not
 following the intended
 course and applies
 braking to correct the
 vehicle motion

• More advanced ESC
 can intervene and
 prevent excessive
 steering action
   Real World Crashes - ESC

• Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
 analysed single vehicle crashes of vehicles with and
 without ESC.

 56% fatality reduction
• NHTSA reported a 30% reduction in single vehicle
 crashes of cars and 63% for SUVs (Four-wheel-
 drives). This was for a limited number of models.

 Assessing ESC Performance

• NHTSA is currently investigating ways of assessing
 the performance of ESC systems. These generally
 involve extreme lane-change manoeuvres or
 question mark turns

• A NHTSA goal is to keep the vehicle on the road
 with ESC because most rollovers occur once the
 vehicle leaves the tar. Less than 4% of all rollover
 accidents are “on-road” and “untripped”
      Assessing ESC Performance

Will ESC cope with

• Tyre blowouts
• Over-correcting after
 a wheel drops off the
 tar (12% of
 Australian rollovers)


      Crash Reductions from ESC
             All Crashes
   Crash Reductions from ESC

   In a quick review of the
   1995 study cases, it is
   estimated that 16 out of
   41 (39%) could have
   benefited from ESC
   (which was not available
   at the time of the study).

 Where to from here?
• Develop ways to encourage head-
  protecting side airbags

• Investigate the benefits that curtains
  might provide in rollover crashes and
  ways to assess this protection

• Develop ways to encourage ESC
• Investigate the types of crashes that
  might benefit from ESC and ways to
  assess the systems

• A role for NCAP?

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