The improvements of car safety have focussed from frontal to side protection during the 90ies. Currently rollover protection is one of the ongoing next steps. Existing and modified hardware like seat belts with pretensioners and side airbags are able to protect car occupants in rollover crashes well. Enhanced safety hardware products and strategies are in production and under further development.
To integrate rollover protection into a car safety system the trigger philosophy is one of the key points. Full-scale rollover crash tests provide basic information about the function of sensors and algorithms to trigger the relevant protection devices. After optimising these devices full-scale tests show the behaviour and possibilities to tune the protection performance parallel and in addition to numerical simulations. Several rollover test procedures are established and in use. The official FMVSS-208 rollover is supplemented by some other rollover tests like cork screw, embankment, curb trip and sandpit rollover. The aim is to test the behaviour of the protection system and its components in critical roll and no-roll situations – from some technical points of view and in correlation to relevant real world accident scenarios.
This article gives an overview of real world accident scenarios and shows statistics based on literature reviews, federal statistics and DEKRA´s accident research. Rollover tests conducted by DEKRA and other test facilities by order of OEM’s and suppliers are shown. Purposes, advantages and disadvantages of the tests are discussed.
Additional information from AUTOLIV about rollover protection hardware and trigger strategies complete this discourse.