Lateral impacts have been shown to produce a large portion of both serious and fatal injuries within the total automotive crash problem. These injuries are produced as a result of the rapid changes in velocity that an automobile occupant's body experiences during a crash. In an effort to understand the mechanisms of these injuries, an experimental program using human surrogates (cadavers) was initiated. Initial impact velocity and compliance of the lateral impacting surface were the primary test features that were controlled, while age of the test specimen was varied to assess its influence on the injury outcome. Instrumentation consisted of 24 accelerometer channels on the subjects along with contact forces measured on the wall both at the thoracic and pelvic level.
The individual responses and resulting injuries sustained by 11 new subjects tested at the University of Heidelberg are presented in detail. An examination of the relationship between forces applied and responses observed in the thorax is discussed.
The average injuries for different sled test conditions are presented based on a total of 42 cadaver tests (11 of which are the ones discussed above). The comparison of rigid wall and padded wall sled tests is made based on these average injuries.