Crashworthiness focuses on occupant protection to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries that occur in the United States each year. This research program is responsible for developing and upgrading test procedures for evaluating motor vehicle safety. Crashworthiness research encompasses new and improved vehicle design, safety countermeasures and equipment to enhance occupant safety.
Studies show that fatalities still happen with vehicles equipped with safety belts and airbags in both small overlap and oblique crashes. Small overlap crashes are crashes with all the damage outside the main longitudinal member. Oblique crashes engage one of the main longitudinal member and cause the occupant to move in an oblique manner. Therefore, the agency is trying to develop test procedure to reduce fatalities and injuries in these two crash modes.
- Vehicle Interior and Restraints Modeling Development of Full Vehicle Finite Element Model Including Vehicle Interior and Occupant Restraints Systems For Occupant Safety Analysis Using THOR Dummies (PDF)
- Oblique Test Procedure - Draft 7-22-2015 (PDF)
- Oblique Test Procedure - DRAF T- previous (PDF)
- THOR Driver Seating Procedure - Draft 7-22-2015 (PDF)
- THOR Passenger Seating Procedure - Draft 7-22-2015 (PDF)
- OMDB Side Assembly Drawing Package (PDF)
- OMDB Frontal Mobile Deformable Barrier Face v2014 (PDF)
- NHTSA Frontal Mobile Deformable Barrier Face v2013 (PDF)
- OMDB FE model by NCAC (Zip file)
- OMDB Honeycomb Dynamic Impact (Zip file)
- OMDB Manual and Drawing Package ver 2015 FINAL (Zip file)
- NHTSA Frontal Mobile Deformable Full Barrier Face V2015 (PDF)
- NHTSA Frontal Mobile Deformable Half Barrier Face V2015b (PDF)
- Drawing Package Ver3 2015 (Zip file)
- Papers & Reports
- Structural Countermeasure / Research Program: Mass and Cost Increase Due to Oblique Offset Moving Deformable Barrier Impact Test, April 2018 (PDF)
- Repeatability & Reproducibility of Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier Test Procedure, September 2016
- CAMP Advanced Restraint Systems: Final Report; DOT HS 811 794A, July 2013 (PDF)
- CAMP: Advanced Restraint Systems (ARS) Final Report: Appendices, DOT HS 811 794B, July 2013 (PDF)
- NASS Analysis in Support Of NHTSA’s Frontal Small Overlap Program (PDF)
- Fatalities in Frontal Crashes Despite Seatbelts and Airbags: Report (PDF)
- Injury Analysis of Real-World Small Overlap and Oblique Frontal Crashes; 22nd ESV, June 2011 (PDF)
- Moving Deformable Barrier Test Procedure for Evaluating Small Overlap/Oblique Crashes SAE 2012 World Congress (PDF)
- Repeatability of a Small Overlap and an Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier Test Procedure, SAE 2013 World Congress (PDF)
- Public Meetings
- Performance of a Driver and Right Front Passenger THOR in an Left and Right Frontal Oblique Test Procedure; SAE 2013 Government/Industry Meeting (PDF)
- NHTSA/Honda Meeting on Small Overlap/Oblique; NHTSA/Honda Research Meeting, 2013 (PDF)
- An Update on NHTSA's Small Overlap/Oblique Testing; SAE 2012 Government/Industry Meeting (PDF)
- Update on NHTSA's Small Overlap/Oblique Testing; SAE 2011 Government/Industry Meeting (PDF)
- Evaluation of Small Overlap / Oblique Test Procedures; SAE 2010 Government/Industry Meeting (PDF)
- Small Overlap and Oblique Test Matrix
Studies and reports provide an overview of the progress of child safety in the United States. This provides a summary of NHTSA's activities in promoting child safety, summarizes the agency's regulatory actions, and discusses issues regarding obstacles in the wide-spread use of booster seats.
Heavy Truck safety is focused on occupant safety and underride guards. Heavy truck occupant safety examines the causes of fatality and injury for heavy truck occupants, while truck underride research identifies the characteristics of underride events and contributing factors.
The goal of the Agency's continuing research is to understand the vehicle and occupant kinematics pursuant to rollover initiation. Further, pre-crash elements might serve as important input parameters for the rollover crash reconstruction models.
Due to regulations requiring compartmentalization on large school buses, American students are safer riding in a school bus than they are riding in a car. NHTSA is committed to ensuring the safety of our Nation's children in school buses.
Occupant restraint systems are intended to control occupant motion within the vehicle during the crash. Occupant restraint system technologies (e.g. air bags, seat belts, seats, etc.) are continually advancing and are a major contributor to mitigating crash fatalities and injuries. However, a significant number of crash injuries still occur, and efforts are ongoing to further improve restraint effectiveness. Occupant restraint system development continues to evolve as new regulations and consumer demand drive more complex solutions.
Frontal crashes are a major source of injuries and fatalities in the field. Recent research utilizes new ATDs to evaluate occupant protection in NCAP’s frontal impact crash test. These efforts study occupant response, possible implications for smaller occupants, and restraint effectiveness for a rear seat passenger.