Dynamic Test Protocol To Assess Rollover Crashworthiness
Recent investigations of Australian Coronial data has indicated that rollover fatalities constitute around 12% of all road deaths and are now higher than fatalities involving frontal (9%) and side impact (10%) crashes. Moreover, in around 24% of vehicle crashes where the occupant has been killed (excluding motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists, etc) the vehicle has rolled over. For three Australian states of NSW, NT and Victoria, single vehicle crashes accounted for 35% of all occupant fatalities in a single vehicle transport injury event. Despite this and the advances in understanding how occupants are being injured in rollover crashes, there is no accepted dynamic rollover crash test procedure (nor for that matter any test in Australia) of medium and small size passenger vehicles for the purposes of rollover crashworthiness ratings.
This paper discusses the implementation of the Jordan Rollover System (JRS) dynamic rollover test rig being considered to assess the rollover crashworthiness of vehicles. Included is a discussion concerning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s quasi-static roof crush tests based on NHTSA’s FMVSS 216 rule, to rate vehicle rollover crashworthiness. While it is argued the quasi-static rating should be implemented immediately as an interim measure, deficiencies in such an approach in terms of dynamic test outcomes are highlighted. A possible test protocol utilising the JRS is explored. When attempting to justify the test protocol in terms of scientific evidence-based research results, it becomes clear that further research work is still necessary. However, the authors conclude that the present JRS test protocol implemented in the US is conservative in terms of typical real world crash severity.