An assessment of airbag deployments for small drivers

2006-05-24T11:35:57Z (GMT) by Ruth Welsh James Watson
Accident studies have shown airbags to be effective in reducing the likelihood and severity of serious head injury for drivers in the event of a crash. There remains, however, the potential for adverse injury outcome in cases where an early contact is made with a partially deployed airbag. This is of particular concern for smaller drivers who may need to adopt a more forward seating position in order to adequately drive their vehicle. Finite element modelling, using a 5th percentile female model has been used to explore the interaction of the head with the airbag for a variety of seating positions and frontal impact severities. The results have been used to determine, for a typical European passenger car, the distance required between the chest and the steering wheel to avoid head contact with the airbag prior to full deployment.