United States of America (USA/57: Motor Vehicle Safety)
This NPRM would substantially upgrade the agency's side impact protection standard, especially by requiring protection in crashes with narrow objects and protection against head injuries in side impact crashes with both narrow objects and other vehicles. First, it would upgrade the standard by requiring that all passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less protect front seat occupants against head, thoracic, abdominal and pelvic injuries in a vehicle-to-pole test simulating a vehicle's crashing sideways into narrow fixed objects like telephone poles and trees. To meet the head injury criteria in the pole test, vehicle manufacturers would likely need to install dynamically deploying side head protection systems, such as head air bags or inflatable air curtains that drop down from the roof line above the door frame. Air curtains can reduce head injuries in side crashes of passenger vehicles with poles and trees as well as side impacts from vehicles with high front ends. They also can help reduce partial and full ejections through side windows. Compliance with the pole test would be determined in two test configurations, one using a new, second-generation test dummy representing mid-size adult males and the other using a new test dummy representing small adult females. Second, this NPRM would upgrade the standard's existing vehicle-to-vehicle test that requires protection of front and rear seat occupants against thoracic and pelvic injuries in a test that uses a moving deformable barrier to simulate a moving vehicle's being struck in the side by another moving vehicle. This NPRM would upgrade that test by requiring protection against head injuries. It would replace the mid-size male dummy currently used in that test with the new mid-size male dummy mentioned above and require compliance with the head, thoracic and pelvic injury criteria developed for the new dummy. It would also enhance protection for small adult occupants by adding the new small female test dummy mentioned above and requiring compliance with the injury criteria developed for that dummy. Thus, the number of test configurations would increase from one to two.
Final Comment Date: October, 14, 2004
(Texts provided by the World Trade Organization.)