Recent statistics highlight the significant risk of serious and fatal injuries to occupants involved in rollover collisions due to excessive roof crush. The government has reported that in 2002, Sports Utility Vehicle rollover related fatalities increased by 14% to more than 2400 annually. 61% of all SUV fatalities included rollovers. [1] Rollover crashes rely primarily upon the roof structures to maintain occupant survival space. Frequently these crashes occur off the travel lanes of the roadway and, therefore, can include impacts with various types of narrow objects such as light poles, utility poles and/or trees. A test device and methodology is presented which allows for dynamic, repeatable rollover impact evaluation of complete vehicle roof structures with such narrow objects. These tests allow for the incorporation of Anthropomorphic Test Dummies (ATDs) which can be instrumented to measure accelerations, forces and moments to evaluate injury potential. High-speed video allows for detailed analysis of occupant kinematics and evaluation of injury causation. Criteria such as restraint performance, injury potential, survival space and the effect of roof crush associated with various types of design alternatives, countermeasures and impact circumstances can also be evaluated. In addition to presentation of the methodology, two representative vehicle crash tests are also reported. Results indicated that the reinforced roof structure significantly reduced the roof deformation compared to the production roof structure.

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