Simple and effective method to predict the occupant dynamic response under sudden impulse loads

A. M. Elmarakbi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A mathematical model is developed in this paper to define the interaction between the occupant and vehicle passenger compartment and to predict the occupant dynamic response during a sudden impulse load. Two different types of occupants are considered in this study, child and adult occupants. The occupants are considered as lumped masses connected to the child seat and vehicle's body masses by means of restraint systems. In addition, the occupant restraint characteristics of seat belt and airbag are represented by stiffness and damping elements. To obtain the dynamic response of the occupant, the equations of motion of the occupants during vehicle collisions are developed and analytically solved. The occupant's acceleration and relative displacement are used as injury criteria to interpret the results. It is demonstrated from the numerical simulations that the dynamic response and injury criteria are easily captured and analyzed. It is also shown that the mathematical models are flexible, useful in optimization studies and it can be used at initial design stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Automotive Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


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