An analysis of the lower extremity responses in various frontal impact test configurations was performed. The THOR-LX anthropomorphic test device (ATD) representing a mid-size adult male was used. Four groups of frontal crash test data were analyzed. These groups included: Rigid Fixed Barrier (RFB), Moderate Overlap Offset Deformable Barrier (ODB), Small Overlap Rigid Barrier (SORB), and Oblique Impact (OI) crash tests.. This analysis indicated that the lower extremity responses could be high especially in the oblique impact and small overlap crash tests. This study focused on understanding the causes of the resulting high responses.

ATD lower extremity kinematics and interaction with intruded body structure and/or instrument panel varied in the different frontal impact configurations. Therefore, the dominant causes of lower extremity responses in terms of tibia forces and moments were not the same for all frontal crash modes. Maximum Tibia Index results associated with the four groups of frontal impact tests were used to develop a better understanding of ATD kinematics and response mechanisms of the lower extremities. The contact sequence of the lower leg to vehicle interior components was illustrated for OI.

This paper investigated the cause of lower extremity responses in these crash tests. Analysis indicated that the time at which maximum intrusion occurs did not necessarily coincide with the time of maximum lower extremity responses expressed by the Tibia Index.

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