• fb_1510606196 avatar Carl Posted: 5/26/2011 11:04am PDT

    In 1971, when I began crash testing cars for government and industry, there was no doubt that all cars had dismal crashworthiness. Field reports were collaborated with crash test data. An unrestrained driver would probably be killed in a 10 mph with the solid concrete test barrier.
    A lap belt, by itself, made little difference except to prevent complete ejection during a side crash or roll over. Later there was a measurable improvement with shoulder belts, when worn properly. A 30 mph would be survivable but one at 35 mph was not certain in the 1980s. [more…]

  • fb_1510606196 avatar Carl Posted: 5/26/2011 11:05am PDT

    Adding well-positioned (adjustable D-rings) belt systems with crash pre-tensioning shoulder straps ratcheted up the probability of surviving. Finally, the addition of airbags made that almost certain. A healthy young person would probably open the door and limp away following a 30 mph barrier crash that would have been a fatal one in most cars of any size in the early 1980s.
    So, what was the crashworthiness difference between a 1971 Chevrolet Vega and a 1971 Impala? Not much when compare in a standard 30 mph crash into a flat rigid barrier. A big difference would result when one hit the front of the other, where the greater mass of the big car would transfer greater injury-causing energy into the smaller car. [More…]

  • fb_1510606196 avatar Carl Posted: 5/26/2011 11:05am PDT

    Considering today’s versions of those examples: There would still be small benefit in the full sized car against the barrier. But now, seeing limited crash override and collapse of each passenger hull, a 30 mph car-to-car test should demonstrate good survivability in both.
    By golly! We “safety geeks” finally did it!