Crashworthiness

Crashworthiness

[krash-wur-thee-nis]
Crashworthiness is the ability of a structure to protect its occupants during an impact. This is commonly tested when investigating the safety of vehicles.

Depending on the nature of the impact and the vehicle involved, different criteria are used to determine the crashworthiness of the structure. Crashworthiness may be assessed either prospectively, using computer models or experiments, or retrospectively by analyzing crash outcomes. Several criteria are used to assess crashworthiness prospectively, including the deformation patterns of the vehicle structure, the acceleration experienced by the vehicle during an impact, and the probability of injury predicted by human body models. Injury probability is defined using criteria, which are mechanical parameters (e.g., force, acceleration, or deformation) that correlate with injury risk. A common injury criterion is the Head impact criterion (HIC). Crashworthiness is assessed retrospectively by analyzing injury risk in real-world crashes, often using regression or other statistical techniques to control for the myriad of confounders that are present in crashes.

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